Publised date : 21 Jul 2019

Perthshire North MSP, Mr John Swinney, and Highland ward councillor Mike Williamson (SNP) have today welcomed news of an extension to the opening hours of Pitlochry’s public toilets.

The toilets, which currently only stay open until 6pm, are at the moment unable to be used by the hundreds of coach tourists who stop in Pitlochry every evening on their way to and from the Highlands. This has resulted in businesses that have signed up to a “comfort scheme” being put under unsustainable pressure, with lines of up to 40 minutes to use the bathroom.

Mr Swinney and Mr Williamson have been vocal in their calls to extend the opening hours of the toilets, and have met with local business owners to hear their concerns. Following these meetings, the SNP politicians liaised with Perth and Kinross council to put forward their view that failing to address this issue would be to the economic detriment of Pitlochry.

Following a meeting on Friday, the council have confirmed that they aim to extend the opening hours until 7pm at the beginning of August. It is the council’s belief that the cost of extending the hours will be offset by the revenue raised from tourists using the facilities.

Commenting, Mr Swinney said:

“I am delighted that, following a period of persistent SNP pressure, the council have reversed their position on extending the opening hours of Pitlochry’s public toilets.

“The situation in Pitlochry was clearly unsustainable. Indeed, some tour bus operators had already begun making plans to bypass their stop at Pitlochry in favour of a town with better facilities.

“Such a decision would have had significant economic repercussions for the town’s economy, with over 10,000 tourists a year no longer being given the opportunity to shop and dine in Pitlochry’s local businesses. 

“I am therefore glad that Cllr Williamson and I were able to successfully convey the depth of concern surrounding this issue, and I am sure news of this move will be greeted positively.”

Mike Williamson added:

“I have been in constant contact with tour bus operators and the council to try and broker a solution to this problem.

“I am pleased that the council have seen sense and heeded the calls of John Swinney and I to engage positively on the issue.

“This extension of opening times will cost nothing but, for the local economy, is worth everything. 

“The SNP will continue to monitor this issue, in order to ensure that local businesses are given the best chance to benefit from the increased footfall that the town is experiencing.”
 

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