Public toilets

Public toilets review - FAQs

What is happening with public toilets?

Councillors agreed to consider a new approach to public toilet provision in the Scottish Borders.

They approved in June 2018 to launch of a procurement exercise to identify a potential third party partner to design, operate and manage the network in the area, which currently sits at 41 facilities.

Work is continuing with this exercise.

Which toilets now charge?

The following toilets now charge for usage:

  • Coldingham - Coldingham Sands
  • Coldstream - Court House Car Park
  • Duns - Briery Baulk
  • Earlston - Bus Station
  • Eyemouth - Bantry Car Park; Harbour
  • Galashiels - High Street Car Park; Bank Street Gardens; Transport Interchange
  • Hawick - Volunteer Park; Howegate; Common Haugh
  • Innerleithen - Hall Street
  • Jedburgh - Lothian Park; Tourist Information Centre
  • Kelso - Shedden Park; Woodmarket/Horsemarket
  • Lauder - The Avenue
  • Melrose - Abbey Place
  • Newcastleton - Langholm Street
  • Selkirk - Market Place
  • St Abbs - Harbour
  • St Boswells - Main Street
  • Peebles - School Brae; Kingsmeadows; Eastgate Car Park
  • Yarrow Valley - St Mary’s Loch

This list includes toilets which yield the highest annual income against the initial capital investment required.

Which toilets are currently not scheduled to introduce charging?

  • Broughton
  • Burnmouth
  • Chirnside
  • Cockburnspath
  • Denholm
  • Greenlaw
  • Kelso – Croft Road
  • Morebattle
  • Melrose – The Greenyards
  • Newtown St Boswells
  • Selkirk – Scotts Place
  • Stow
  • Town Yetholm
  • West Linton

How often are the toilets cleaned?

Our public toilets are cleaned every day, while toilet roll and paper towels are restocked regularly.

There is now a cleaning regime display board in our toilets which show at what times of the day toilets have been cleaned by our staff.

Are any of your toilets attended?

No, we have no staff based solely at any of our toilets

How much will you charge for someone to use a public toilet?

It is 30 pence charge per usage. A total of 17 other Scottish councils currently charge for the use of public toilets.

Some of the public toilets in the Borders are in poor condition – is it fair to charge for usage of them?

We have collected data and information from across Scotland, and more than half of the country’s councils charge for the use of their public toilets.

We did previously charge for the use of toilets in eight locations in the Borders. However, this ended in 2008.

This approach aims to avoid closure of public toilets, which would be the alternative option if we carried on as we are.

How is money collected for toilets which are charging for usage?

A cash collection service will be entered into with third parties.

Do Councils have to provide toilets as part of their duties?

No – public toilet provision is not statutory. However, we recognise the importance of public toilets to our communities which is why we want to work with local communities by setting up partnership arrangements and/or comfort schemes.

There is a major event coming up in our community, is there anyone I can contact to discuss public toilet provision for the day?

Please contact Neighbourhoods Services to discuss – for example we can make sure the public toilets in your community are ready to accommodate more people than usual.

What if I cannot afford to use the toilets?

There are publicly accessible buildings with toilets within communities which you are not required to pay for and could be used.

Is there a fear that people will buy RADAR keys to avoid payment?

A RADAR key allows 24 hour independent access for people with disabilities to around 7k fully accessible toilets in the UK.

Anyone seeking to receive a RADAR key should contact our Customer Services team or visit Disability Rights UK website.  

Both require proof of eligibility in order to receive a key.

Further details on the RADAR key is available.

What if there is an issue with the toilets or I become stuck in one?

If you cannot get out of a toilet due to a charging unit not working or other issues, there is a 24 hour phone number for Border Care in the facility.

We will also be providing a simple guide inside the toilets to ensure you can work the new system.