Scarborough Council say they will not re-open toilets at Runswick Bay despite predicted influx of visitors to 'Britain's best beach'

A parish council on the Yorkshire coast has been urged to take over the management of a mothballed public toilet block ahead of a predicted influx of visitors.

Runswick Bay

The Bank Top conveniences at Runswick Bay shut in 2016, leaving the village with only the Bank Bottom facilities, due to apparent low usage.

Yet last year Runswick's beach was named the best in Britain by The Times and there was a subsequent surge in bookings which is expected to continue this summer.

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Ward councillor Ian Walker, a resident of nearby Hinderwell, wrote to The Yorkshire Post this week claiming that the remaining facilities were 'inadequate' and that visitors had been seen relieving themselves in bushes during the 2020 tourist season.

He has called for Scarborough Council to re-open Bank Top but the authority has declined to do so and offered Hinderwell parish council the chance to take on responsibility for the toilets themselves.

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A consultation in 2016 revealed that the council was spending over £4,400 per year on maintaining Bank Top, over £3,000 of which went on cleaning. The 'cost per user' was calculated at £1.15 - compared to 11p for the Bank Bottom block. The report also found that most users of the Bank Top conveniences were local residents rather than visitors.

Scarborough Council director Nick Edwards said: “The closure of the public toilets at the top of Runswick Bay bank was a policy decision taken a few years ago based on low usage of the toilets at the time. The decision also took into account our alternative toilet facilities, which are a short walk away towards the bottom of the bank and close to the beach, which is the main draw for the majority of visitors.

“While we appreciate visitor numbers may have increased in the post-lockdown periods, we feel that the remaining toilet block is sufficient to service the village and we have no plans to reverse the closure decision of the Bank Top toilets.

“If Hinderwell Parish Council wishes to consider taking on the operation of the toilets, with a view to re-opening them, we will be happy to work with them to achieve their aspirations.”