Scarborough’s seafront toilets have been labelled ‘spartan’, ‘inadequate’ and even ‘disgusting’ by some of the traders who work near the public conveniences.
The toilet block near Luna Park on the end of the Vincent Pier has come in for most criticism .
“I wouldn’t want a small child in there, they are not nice and in the summer there is a disgusting smell from the men’s, and we run a food stall just nearby in Luna Park,” said Alison Tuby, whose family runs the Luna Park and the nearby Ivy House cafe, in Sandside .
In the summer some visitors ask to use the cafe toilets instead of the Council run facilities and Mrs Tuby takes pity on mums with young children and pregnant women.
Councillor Subash Chunder Sharma is a veteran campaigner for toilet improvements.
“The gents on the Vincent pier are clean but spartan and we need more of them. There are cracks in the structure of the Vincent block.
“We have a shortage of toilets in the right places and our toilet maintenance system is archaic.” said Cllr Sharma, who has a food stall near the West Pier toilets.
Sandside shopkeeper Gaeleen Bibby described the Vincent block as “not the most modern” and pointed out there was no disabled access.
Sheila Snow, who works at the Ocean Pantry, near the West Pier toilets, said the toilets had really gone downhill recently and in the summer people complained about the charge.
Foreshore Road and Sandside are serve by three blocks of Council toilets at Vincent Pier, West Pier and near Olympia.
Around three years ago draft plans were drawn up to replace the old Vincent Pier block with a new facility providing toilets, showers and facilities for harbour users. But, according to Alex Richards, from the council’s planning department, the whole scheme has been put on hold because of the economic downturn.
David Archer, the Council’s strategic director, said: “We receive approximately 70 toilet related service requests annually, not all complaints.
“We do recognise the need for investment in our toilets and are market testing for the refurbishment and cleaning of all our public toilets with a view to having a partner with the investment resource needed to modernise and update all our facilities. We expect to be able to report on potential partners early in the new year .”