6:00am Friday 18th October 2013
By Paul Rogers
TOURISTS visiting a number of the most popular attractions in the county could be caught short from next month.
Public lavatories found in the Wye Valley, within the black and white village trail and on the county’s side of the Malvern Hills will be closed permanently from November 1.
The move by Herefordshire Council will, according to one person relying on visitors, have a detrimental effect on the local tourist trade.
Among the public conveniences to close are those in Colwall, Weobley, Kerne Bridge and Symonds Yat East.
Pete Rollinson is a landlord at the Saracens Head pub in Symonds Yat.
He claimed the loos in his village are among the most used in Herefordshire.
Mr Rollinson added that his pub’s lavatories would struggle to serve all the tourists visiting the area famed for its views, river boat trips and peregrine falcons.
“The public loos have been in Symonds Yat for about 30 years because the facilities in the pub were not sufficient for the number of visitors that come here,” he said.
“Residents and businesses have invested money and time to make Symonds Yat quite pleasant and now the council wants to take away the lavatories.
Hereford is also involved in the cuts with conviniences located outside the Leisure Pool in St Martin’s Street closing from next month.
The news comes after facilities in Union Street, Blueschool Street, East Street and Blackfriars Street were shut earlier this year.
Simon Gwynne, manager of Hereford Leisure Pool, said any closure would clearly have an impact on the amount of people who use the services at the swimming baths.
“We will definitely see more people at the busiest times of the year, but a lot of people use our facilities in the evening anyway because the public loos close at 6pm,” he said.
“But, when they do close, we would have to review the situation to see how it will affect us.”
The situation in the market towns is less clear.
Public lavatories found in Burgess Street and at the Grange in Leominster, as well as the Crofts in Rosson- Wye, and Church Street in Bromyard are also at risk.
However, there is a chance that the town councils could ensure their survival.
And in Ledbury, Councillor Liz Harvey said one of the town’s two blocks - either in Bye Street or Church Lane – would close in November.
There are plans, however, to open new loos in the town as part of the Master’s House project.
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