Fringe Box



Council Announces Which Public Toilets To Go

Published on: 29 Mar, 2022
Updated on: 30 Mar, 2022

Ward Street public toilets are to remain open.

Which public toilets in Guildford will remain open and which will close has been decided by Guildford Borough Council following a public survey.

At the beginning of the year, the council asked residents, visitors and businesses to help choose which of Guildford borough’s 16 public toilets should be kept open.

It was anticipated that up to five facilities from a long list of eight would be closed but only three will now be decommissioned if no alternative organisations take them on.

Over 2,000 people responded to the survey, telling GBC which locations were used most.

When announced in January, the proposal to close some toilets caused a flurry of comments from Dragon readers. Most were critical. Jan Messinger said: “I think the public toilets should stay. They are only going to save a penny or two,” and Valerie Thompson added: “None of the toilets should go. What does the council want – wild weeing? It’s totally uncivilised to remove public conveniences.”

But David Smith was unconcerned: “To be honest, most of these toilets are filthy anyway, some of them will be no loss.”

The public toilets Woodbridge Road were thought to be under threat of closure but are to remain open.

A council spokesperson said: “The results confirmed our last footfall survey and helped us make a confident choice about which public toilets to close.”

Allen House, Bedford Road and Farnham Road public toilets will all close on Monday, April 4; so the last day they will be open to use is Sunday, April 3.

Following agreement with GBC, Ripley Parish Council is to take on the cleaning and maintenance of Ripley toilets from April 4 allowing it to remain open.

Cllr James Steel, lead councillor for Environment said: “We wanted to make sure that we provide public toilets where they are needed most, and the facilities are run in the most sustainable way for the future.

“We would like to offer the sites to other organisations who are able and willing to take them on and run them as public toilets. Those interested should email us at

“We also want to increase the number of businesses across the borough who make their toilets available to the public and encourage them to join up to the national ‘Use our Loos’ initiative, run by the British Toilet Association. We would like to thank Ripley Parish Council for their swift decision to take on the cleaning and maintenance of Ripley toilets at an Extra-Ordinary Council meeting last week.

“It is a very difficult decision to make these closures, but we need to reduce how much we spend each year keeping public toilets open, as well as larger refurbishment costs that will be needed soon. Our Budget Survey in 2021 showed us that residents felt that public toilets were not where we should prioritise our spending.

“Despite being on track to achieve our target of £8 million savings through our ‘Future Guildford Transformation Programme’, we need to save a further £6 million – 10 per cent of our spending – over the next four years in Guildford to offset a substantial reduction in government funding and the costs of responding to the Coronavirus (Covid19) pandemic.”

The closures are expected to save £65,000 per annum.

The results of the consultation, which lead to this decision, can be found on GBC’s website.

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Responses to Council Announces Which Public Toilets To Go

  1. Daniel Hill Reply

    March 29, 2022 at 7:46 pm

    I believe we should be considering options to provide more public amenities, not closing them. Today I’ve contacted GBC with my proposal and look forward to a reply. 

    Fingers crossed.

  2. A Haigh Reply

    March 30, 2022 at 10:29 pm

    Is there a government regulation regarding the ratio of public convenience to footfall numbers within an area?

  3. Mike Flarry Reply

    January 5, 2024 at 3:56 pm

    Is the council leading the way by joining the Use Our Loos initiative and opening Millmead council offices toilets to the general public? Think what a useful piece of advertising this would provide for the scheme.

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