Caught short? Council chiefs blasted over portable toilet parade on South Shields seafront

Portaloo used as public toilets at The Car Park, River Drive, North Promenade South Shields
Portaloo used as public toilets at The Car Park, River Drive, North Promenade South Shields

Portable toilets on South Tyneside’s coastline have critics trying to flush out who is responsible for the decision.

Six chemical toilets have been placed along the new South Shields Promenade – which was part of a £5million revamp.

“We have this beautiful seafront which is fantastic, then there’s these plastic portable toilets.”

Coun Jeff Milburn

The conveniences, which are behind metal barriers displaying a ‘public toilets’ sign, are in the Harbour Drive South car park, next to the new Toney Minchella kiosk.

But disabled people, and those needing baby changing facilities, are informed they have to head to Haven Point leisure complex to use the facilities there.

Council bosses say the toilets are there to cater for all the extra tourists the town has attracted over the summer but Tory councillor Jeff Milburn says the loos are an embarrassment and a “blight on our beautiful coastline”.

He said: “We have this beautiful seafront, which is fantastic, and then in the car park there are these plastic portable toilets.

“They look a mess and spoil the area, they are a blight on the beautiful coastline.”

The Cleadon and East Boldon representative added: “Plus how much is it costing to keep hiring them and keep them clean every week?

“It can’t be cost effective during such cash-strapped times. I think our tourists and locals deserve better. If there’s such a need for toilets then we should be providing proper facilities.”

A South Tyneside Council spokesman has revealed the toilets will remain until October.

He said: “We work hard to provide clean and safe public facilities for residents and visitors. The toilets at Harbour Drive South are a temporary fixture and are in place until the end of the summer season.

“They are in place to provide additional toilet provision to people visiting the foreshore over the summer months when visitor numbers are at their highest.

“The conveniences are provided in addition to permanent toilets, which are available at nearby Haven Point, Amusements and South Marine Park.”