Frustration as disabled loos are shut

The public toilets in Seahouses.
The public toilets in Seahouses.

A holidaymaker has branded a visit to Northumberland ‘a nightmare’, after disabled toilets in three coastal villages were locked.

Jan Walker, from Cumbria, was in the county at the start of the month with husband Edward and her 88-year-old mum Jane Bellas, who requires a wheelchair.

Jan, 64, says she loves the area, but was left frustrated that the disabled toilets in Craster, Seahouses and Holy Island were shut. To make matters worse, she claims that the tourist information centres (TICs) at Craster and Seahouses, which she says keeps a key to the loos, were also shut. She can’t remember about Holy Island.

She said: “The men’s and women’s toilets were open, but we needed a disabled toilet for my mother. It was a nightmare. Surely the disabled toilets should be open through the day.”

Paul Jones, from the county council, said: “The public toilets at Craster, Seahouses and the main toilets at Holy Island remain open during the winter. The disabled provision at these facilities is always locked and accessed by a Radar key, which is a national scheme. It helps to prevent them from being vandalised.

“Radar keys can be purchased from TICs, customer information points and nationally from Radar. Radar keys can be borrowed from the TIC at Craster, however, this is only open for weekends during the winter.

“We will look to see if there are any businesses in the vicinity that would be willing to hold a key if needed and amend our signage accordingly. We would welcome any businesses that have toilets to join the county council’s voluntary You’re Welcome to Use Our Loo scheme.”