CALLS have been made to reinstate public toilets for tourists visiting the Forth bridges in North Queensferry.

Automatic toilets costing £15,000 a year were removed from Battery Road last year in a bid to save money in a previous Fife Council budget.

Community councillor Christina McKenzie told the Press last year that the decision to take away the village's only public toilet was a "disgrace" after catching several tourists "doing their business" beside her home.

Since, tourists have been relying on the facilities in local shops and cafes.

Now, Conservative councillor Dave Dempsey has urged Fife Council's administration to find the funds for the loos to be returned.

At a Fife Council meeting, he asked: "Why has it proved impossible to identify funding to restore and operate a public toilet at the Forth Bridge, Fife’s only World Heritage Site, and what needs to be done to rectify this?"

Cllr Dempsey told the Press: "Nothing that is any way effective has happened since last year.

"They quite rightly got rid of the automatic toilets because they were costing thousands to lease.

"Usually the council takes away services in the budget and then some time later realises nobody thought about what was going to happen afterwards.

"The serious issue here is how do we fund it? Money has been found to actually build a new one but there is no budget for the £3,000 a year it will cost to maintain it – a trivial, small figure in the budget of this council.

"It can't come out of the area committee budget because that is reserved for one-off costs.

"I wanted to make enough noise about it and hopefully I have persuaded someone in the administration to do something."

Last year, there were hopes of coming to an arrangement with local premises, but that has not been successful and businesses are not always open.

Cllr Dempsey added: "The Forth Bridge is unique and I'm hoping because of that it will be enough to swing this.

"We cannot leave it to volunteers. They have pushed that throughout Fife but it has not worked."

Replying to Cllr Dempsey at last week's council meeting, Altany Craik, convener of the economy, tourism, strategic planning and transportation committee, said: "The Forth Bridges tourism strategy a clear visitor tourism plan. This includes ensuring visitor facilities, such as public toilets, digital visitor information and making sure they’re available in North Queensferry.

"The  toilets made a loss of approximately £10,000 per annum and in 2017/18, elected members agreed to close these facilities as part of budget savings.

"Communities forming part of the wider North Queensferry area are encouraged to welcome the opportunities arising from the tourism.

"Officers assessed that local attractions that have toilet facilities can be readily accessed by visitors. However, officers will review the need for facilities based on tourist demands.

He added: "I  recall two budgets ago allocating area capital to every area committee and if that had been your desire for that area capital, for the small sum of £30,000 you could have done it.

"In terms of £3,00 per annum to run a toilet, I’m sure that’s something the area committee could have dealt with.

"However, I look forward to having a proper discussion and trying to find a way forward and see where we can go from here."