Spend a Penny: The improvements and investment YOU want to see in South Tyneside's public toilets

We are into the final stretch of the school year, with the summer holidays just around the corner.

As South Tyneside families make the most of the borough’s beautiful coastline and green spaces – along with visitors to the area – there will be an increase in the number of people looking for somewhere to “spend a penny”.

The Covid pandemic inspired many to take advantage of attractions and events closer to home.

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With one of South Tyneside’s busiest times for visitors almost here, we sought the views of the Shields Gazette readers on the borough’s toilet facilities.

Which areas need more facilities? And where do existing toilets need to be improved?

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Dozens of readers got in touch to share their views – with calls for improvements at the seafront and within the borough’s parks.

Customers also requested new toilets in shopping areas and at the South Shields Transport Interchange, but these would not be a South Tyneside Council responsibility.

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Readers have been sharing their views on where they would like to see public toilets improved across South Tyneside.

A council spokesperson said: "Public toilets are situated at key areas across the borough reflecting our commitment to provide clean and safe facilities for both our residents and visitors.

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“Investment has been made in new facilities along the foreshore and within public buildings in all three towns in recent years. Unlike in some towns or cities, all of these facilities are free of charge in South Tyneside.

“The borough’s public toilets remained open throughout the pandemic and are regularly cleaned and maintained to protect the public.

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"High footfall during this time has meant that additional maintenance has been necessary, but the council is committed to continuing our investment in our current provision in order to provide suitable facilities across the borough.

Public toilet facilities will be busy over the school summer holidays. Picture: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire.
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“A number of private facilities are also available in retail and hospitality premises for patrons to use.”

Meanwhile, Nexus confirmed it currently has no plans to put public toilets inside the interchange, which first opened to passengers in August 2019.

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A spokesperson added: “We don’t have plans at the moment to open any public toilets at South Shields Interchange.

"There is a council-run public toilet 50 metres from South Shields Interchange on Queen Street. It’s well signposted outside the station.”