There were concerns that automated toilets could be:
- confusing for members of the community, for example older people, to use;
- in practice not nice, clean and shiny like in the picture;
- unhygienic and uncomfortable due to toilets becoming blocked and overflowing;
- force children, elderly and disabled people to navigate wet and soiled floors to use the toilet and hand sink;
- a target for vandals
- leading to the automated mechanism becoming damaged
- causing the toilet door to open unexpectedly while occupied.
- At least one Community Councillor has experience of the above when an automated toilet was introduced in another town centre.
The Community Council is sympathetic to Midlothian Council’s budgetary constraints and requirement to achieve efficiencies. However, the Community Council members are in agreement that the best option for the local community would be to retain the existing public toilets. We appreciate that the status quo may incur the introduction of charges and pay machines but anticipate the proposed automated public toilets will likely be ‘pay to use’ anyway.