Spending a penny has become a tough task in Sheffield – with most of the city’s public toilets sold, closed or knocked down in the last 10 years.
Just nine of the city’s public loos remain in full use compared to 29 a decade ago, according to information obtained by The Star’s Your Right to Know campaign.
Toilets on Fulwood Road, Broomhill, and Parkside Road, Hillsborough, are in the process of being sold while one at the entrance to the old Castle Market is also due to be removed.
The rest – including the public toilets next to Sheffield Town Hall and the Pond Street superloo – have been closed since 2004, with five being demolished.
And Sheffield people said the lack of loos has put them off visiting the city centre.
Mum Natalie Nestor said: “It’s ridiculous trying to find a loo but if having ones we have to pay for is the only way to stop them being vandalised then it’s better than nothing. It honestly does put me off going into the city centre with my two children.”
Catherine Hart added: “You have to have a comprehensive knowledge of which pubs have loos you can get to without passing the bar.”
David Forrest said: “I ended up going into a shop when I needed one. The one I used to use shut down and the others shut – and they wonder why people don’t go into town.”
And Lynn Carnall, whose mum was a toilet attendant, said: “Sadly times change. Lots of people use Meadowhall and Crystal Peaks shopping centres where the toilets are free.
“It is sad our city centre cannot follow suit and make our city centre toilets somewhere people can use free of charge to encourage people back into the city.”
Parents said they found the situation a ‘nightmare’ and shop workers said non-customers frequently used their loos to the point where they ran out of toilet paper and soap.
The last toilets are at:
n Angel Street
n In the lay-by on the A6102 at Deepcar junction
n Holme Lane junction with Hillsborough Place, Hillsborough
n Junction of Staniforth Road and Greenland Road, Darnall
n Birley Moor Road, Frecheville.
Town or parish councils manager another three in Bradfield, Ecclesfield and Chapeltown.
The Star requested information on the price toilets had been sold for and which organisation bought them but the council said it did ‘not hold separate records for sales of public toilets’.
It added: “All income will have been treated as a capital receipt and contributed to the council’s overall budget.”