A public toilet block has been permanently closed to the public – after highways bosses were unable to stop its unsavoury goings on.
The toilets, in a layby off the A69, had gained a reputation as a meeting place for sex.
Highways England chiefs have taken the decision to permanently close the toilets following complaints about persistent “anti-social behaviour at all times of the day”.
A spokesman for Highways England said the decision to close the toilets was taken because families were using the Hayton layby to stop and picnic.
The loop on the eastbound carriageway near Edmund Castle has for several years been known as a site where strangers meet up for sex, and as a rendezvous for gay men.
Cumbria county councillors in 2007 took the decision to install gates at the layby, near Hayton, at a cost of £5,000 and a security firm was paid to close and lock the area each evening.
Councillors had received a petition from concerned locals and protests were supported by the county’s tourist board and the Road Haulage Association.
A report to the council revealed that the “inappropriate night-time activity” at the site had stopped, and as funds to pay the security firm had dried up, the decision was taken to stop locking the gates. But a spokesman for Highways England, which manages the A69 and owns the toilets, said the “anti-social” behaviour had continued not only during the night, but in daylight hours too, and after discussions with the police, it had been decided to close the toilets.
“Following discussions with the police and council, we took the decision to close the toilets at Hayton layby at the end of March due to continued anti-social behaviour taking place at all times of the day,” said the spokesman.
“Families were using the layby for welcome breaks, as well as lorry drivers and other motorists, and for this reason it was deemed not suitable to keep the toilets open,” said the spokesman.
A closure sign was erected at the entrance to the layby at the end of March indicating the toilets are no longer open, but said the spokesman, the layby itself can still be used.