Locked loos faced by strollers enjoying the seafront

LOCKED public toilets around Bognor Regis at Christmas and new year could be consigned to the past.

Arun District Council is looking at opening some sites next December 25 and January 1 after criticisms about its policy of keeping them shut on those days.

West Street resident Fred Quilliam was caught out when he went for a walk on the first day of 2013.

The rare glimpse of sunshine brought crowds to the town’s seafront to greet the year. But anyone who wanted to use a toilet while they enjoyed the weather found their way barred.

Mr Quilliam said: “There were thousands of people on the seafront about 11am to midday on New Year’s Day.

“You couldn’t walk in a straight line because there were so many people about.

“But all the toilets I went to were locked.

“I tried those opposite the pier, at the foreshore office, at Felpham Yacht Club and Snook’s Corner in Felpham.

“I couldn’t believe it. It was the first beautiful day we’d had for ages and yet no-one could get into a toilet. I’m really unhappy about it.”

A council spokeswoman said: “The public conveniences are open up to 12 hours a day for 363 days a year. It has been the council’s policy for a number of years that they close on Christmas and New Year’s Days.”

But she said the council recognised the issue raised by a small number of people who had complained.

Its policy would be reviewed with the aim of keeping selected key sites open next festive season.