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Thursday, 27 November 2014

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Threat to Hadrian's Wall toilets after 2,000 years

Villagers living at the end of Hadrian’s Wall footpath are dismayed that a cut in funding will leave walkers with no public toilet at the end of their trek.

Hadrian
Gilly Walton, front right and Margaret Evans with other residents campaigning to save the loos

Members of the Bowness-on-Solway Community Group fear their village could become a health hazard if visitors are left with no facilities.

Currently a toilet is available during daylight hours at the parish council-run Lindow Hall.

Allerdale Council was paying £1,600 per year to clean and maintain the toilet to make it available to the public. But when that funding stops at the end of this month, the toilet will only be available to people using the hall.

Thousands of people walk along the 84-mile long distance footpath each year and many more visit the village while exploring the Solway Plain.

A petition has now been launched, urging Allerdale to think again.

Community group secretary Gilly Walton said: “This paltry amount helps with the upkeep and cleaning of the toilet for the use of visitors from all over the world, so there will be the danger to public health and the loss of our reputation as a welcoming community.

“Considering the millions of pounds United Utilities has spent on removing sewage from the Solway Firth, Allerdale Council will, by its ill-conceived cuts, reduce Bowness-on-Solway to a health hazard.

“It’s sad to think that nearly 2,000 years ago the Romans brought toilets to our village.”

Group treasurer Pauline Hinks, who lives at nearby Port Carlisle, was equally critical of the funding cut.

She said: “Visitors could be desperate to spend a penny.”

She fears people may be forced to go to the toilet behind walls or on the Solway Plain.

Andrew Seekings, at Allerdale Council, said Lindow Hall was given 12 months’ notice of the change but made no complaint. He added: “We are now seeking conversations to find the best way forward.”

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