Stroud's pop-up urinal branded a 'waste of money'

Urilift, Stroud, Gloucestershire Image copyright Tim Mars
Image caption The remote-controlled "urilift' was designed to rise from King's Parade everyday between 19:00 and 07:00

A £45,000 pop-up urinal which fails to pop-up has been branded a "waste of money".

Stroud's remote-controlled "urilift" emerged from the pavement seven nights a week when installed in 2007, but now it "scarcely works at all".

Tim Mars, a member of Stroud Civic Society, said: "If this were a car, Basil Fawlty would spank it".

Stroud District Council said it was aware of a fault with the lifting mechanism, but it would be fixed soon.

The pop-up urinal was installed opposite a taxi rank in King's Parade to tackle late-night urinating in shop doorways.

Designed to emerge every night between 19:00 and 07:00, it now only makes an appearance at the weekend - if it is working.

Mr Mars said it had been "plagued with technical problems" and, with a maintenance bill of £2,000 per year, was a "very, very expensive car" that "rarely leaves the garage".

He said: "Last year it was out for almost four months and again it's now been out for three weekends."

'Scaled down'

Mr Mars added: "It's very, very expensive for something that provides three comfort stations for men only - just two nights a week. I'm not convinced it serves any purpose at all."

A spokeswoman for the district council said: "We are aware that there is currently a fault with the toilets lifting mechanism, and an engineer has attended.

"We are hoping that the fault will be rectified within the next few days."

She said the facility had been well received by business owners in the town, but its use was "scaled down to just Friday and Saturday night" to provide relief when the area was "particularly busy".

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