Card payments could be used at public loos

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Card payment facilities could be adopted as part of proposed public toilet charges in Argyll and Bute.

Members of the council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee agreed the principle of charging at high footfall facilities at a meeting last week.

It was also agreed in principle to introduce ‘honesty boxes’ at medium footfall public toilets, and promote low footfall ones for community ownership.

And electronic payments could be investigated if the charges are voted through.

Councillor Jim Findlay asked: ‘In terms of charging, could we bring ourselves into the 21st century and have some e-entry facility if we are going to charge?’

Jim Smith, the council’s head of roads and amenity services, replied: ‘That is something we would be quite keen to do. We can follow it up about card or contactless payment – it is certainly worth exploring.’

Councillor Ellen Morton also expressed concerns about honesty boxes being installed at some toilet facilities in view of previous vandalism incidents.

She said: ‘I have great concern over the honesty boxes. In areas that don’t attract problems, if people become aware there might be money, that might attract vandalism.

‘There is an enormous capacity for vandalism, wrenching pipes off the walls and other things. Does it become a target for the wrong sort of attention?’