Spend a Penny: The improvements and investment YOU want to see in Sunderland's public toilets

We are into the final stretch of the school year, with the summer holidays just around the corner.

As Sunderland families make the most of the city’s beautiful coastline and green spaces – along with visitors to Wearside – there will be an increase in the number of people looking for somewhere to “spend a penny”.

The Covid pandemic inspired many to take advantage of attractions and events closer to home.

With one of Wearside’s busiest times for visitors almost here, we sought the views of the Sunderland Echo readers on the city’s toilet facilities.

Which areas need more facilities? And where do existing toilets need to be improved?

Dozens of readers got in touch to share their views – with calls for improvements at the seafront and within the city’s parks, and additional toilets in the city centre.

Reader Syd Rowell added: “The full country needs more, no matter where you go it's a mission to find one open.”

Readers have been sharing their views on where they would like to see public toilets improved across Wearside.

Shoppers also called for improvements to facilities in the city’s shopping areas, but these would not be a Sunderland City Council responsibility.

A council spokesman said in a statement: “We’re very aware of how important public toilets are for residents, businesses and visitors.

“We continue to listen, continue to review and continue to invest and maintain our public toilets.

“This includes the refurbishment of the Seaburn Tram Shelter toilets, supporting plans for toilets in the upgrade and revamp of Sunderland Central station and the new public facilities that are open at City Hall.”

Public toilets at Marine Walk, Roker.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Bridges shopping centre in the city added: “The toilets in the Bridges are for the convenience of shoppers and are not public toilets in the way that those operated by the local authority are.

"We are very proud of the fact that our facilities have actually won awards and we have housekeepers who work every day, ensuring they are kept to the highest standards of cleanliness.

“Our toilets -which include male, female, accessible toilets along with baby changing facilities – are more than suitable for a shopping centre the size of the Bridges and we firmly believe we adequately cater for our customers and their needs.”

Public toilet facilities will be busy over the school summer holidays. Picture: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire.