Tourist pub defends £1 charge to spend a penny

By Oli Gross

- Last updated on GMT

The Boatyard in Bridgnorth is charging non-customers to use its toilets
The Boatyard in Bridgnorth is charging non-customers to use its toilets

Related tags: Toilet

A pub has defended its decision to charge non-customers to use its toilets and said the new scheme is “working well”.

The Boatyard in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, is located near a number of popular tourist destinations, meaning it is often busy and paying customers were having to queue to use the facilities. A range of toiletries had also been stolen, alongside damage to the facilities. The pub introduced the £1 charge after shelling out £800 in one month for plumbers to unblock the toilets.

On one occasion, a pair of knickers and a used nappy blocked the drains, causing the pub to shut and resulted in a loss of trade.

Manager Kurt Murray told the PMA​ the new £1 charge had solved the problem.

“It’s a public house not a service station. The charge has nipped the issue in the bud and I’m not having to worry if people have wrecked everything in the bathroom,” Murray said. “People who aren’t paying customers are less likely to care and to leave a mess in there.”

Problem

Murray claimed the problem stemmed from the fact there were not enough public toilets in the town, which regularly attracts thousands of tourists — especially when the weather is good.

“We know who the tourists are because they walk in with their head down and wearing a rucksack. You aren’t going to go the toilet with your rucksack on! I ask them, ‘Are you a customer? Toilets are for customers, there’s a £1 charge’. It’s working very well.”

Murray estimated each toilet use costs the pub 46p, based on the use of soap, toilet roll, electricity and water. He said the pub spends thousands of pounds a year on toilet roll alone.

Other pubs and tea shops in the town have also started charging to use their facilities, he added.

Related topics: Other operators, Marketing

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