BUILDING and maintaining public toilets is certainly not the council’s most glamorous job and it can easily be one of those things people don’t think about it.
But in reality they are one of the few council facilities everyone uses.
Residents, or people familiar with Orange, can easily take the toilets and their locations for granted and will no doubt have preferred places to go, when they have to go. But provisions for visitors are something the town sorely lacks especially when compared to our neighbours.
The driver reviver facility at the gateway to Orange does provide a 24-hour toilet stop for travellers but when the driver reviver facility is not running there is little incentive for visitors to stop at the site.
The poor signage of the town’s other two 24-hour toilets, tucked away in McNamara Lane and the Anson Street car park, mean they are clearly geared towards locals, not visitors.
If the toilet earmarked for Robertson Park is kept open 24-hours a day it will go some way towards easing the problem, especially over the weekend when there are few facilities open.
But with parking around the busy block at a premium it is doubtful many travellers will be able to get anywhere near the park on a weekday.
Redeveloping Esso Park with a toilet block is another option the council should explore but, with the park’s original toilets closed in the 1990s and removed seven years ago, history would suggest the site may not be suitable.
Some residents may also question the merit of spending money on a rest stop in town when the bypass beckons.
The adequacy of public toilets is easy to write off as an issue with little consequence but when a decent rest stop means the difference between a family stopping off in Orange and spending time and money in local businesses and travellers driving on to the next town, it suddenly becomes a whole lot more urgent.