Council consider end to 24-hour toilets in Pateley Bridge

A request was made to Harrogate Borough Council after concerns were raised over the conditions of the public toilets.
A request was made to Harrogate Borough Council after concerns were raised over the conditions of the public toilets.

Access to publicly run toilets 24 hours a day could come to an end in Pateley Bridge as part of suggestions to address the conditions of facilities.

A request was made following a meeting between representatives from Nidderdale Chamber of Trade, Harrogate Borough Council, Pateley Bridge Town Council and North Yorkshire Police after vandalism and hygiene issues raised by visitors and residents.

It has been proposed by the Chamber of Trade that the opening hours be set to 8am and 8pm.

Keith Tordoff, Chairman of Nidderdale Chamber of Trade said: “As a business we were getting a lot of people coming in and saying to us how disgusting the toilets were.

“These are important as its one of the first things most tourists use when they arrive and they were finding them like that.

“It was so bad and clearly there were issues and the purpose of the meeting was to get a new format down to sort it.”

It is hoped the potential shift in times could address vandalism that is believed to occur in the evening.

A Harrogate Borough Council spokesperson said: “The council has received a request to close the Public Toilets at Pateley Bridge recreation ground and Southlands car park from 8pm each evening and reopen them at 8am due to concerns about vandalism. We are now giving the request due consideration.”

Signs will however be put up advertising that the toilets are being monitored and North Yorkshire Police’s PC Bill Hickson agreed to carry out regular patrols.

Existing cleaning practices will also be adapted in the attempt to improve the hygiene at the facilities.

The Chamber of Trade has since suggested the idea of introducing a 20p charge for using the toilets, suggesting it could help pay for running costs.

Mr Torfoff said: “This could help pay for the upkeep and make people respect the facilities.

“It is done across the country. This does not even have to be something that is profit making to work.”