'Sex' toilets at layby closed by Highways England

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The A69 layby near Edmond Castle
The A69 layby near Edmond Castle

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.

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Anon   Anon , Carlisle Friday, 12 May, 2017 at 6:36AM
How is it that whenever a paper reprts this they are accused of homophobia? The point is it is gay men causing the problem and we are all supposed to keep quiet and pretend this is acceptable behaviour? Firstly, society as a whole does not like people having sex in public, and that goes for the rest of the world, and secondly, no one likes being propositioned by a stranger. These two principles span any expression of sexuality and just because you are a gay man of a certain disposition, it does not give you the right to try and bully everyone else into accepting everything you want to do.
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  , Thursday, 11 May, 2017 at 8:33PM
The layby itself can still be used,just to remind the savoury users brigade!Bring back the birch!
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Private   Pile , Carlisle Thursday, 11 May, 2017 at 7:52PM
Since when is reporting the facts homophobic? It's well known those toilets and others in the Carlisle area have been used for gay sex at all times of the day. Bitts Park and the Chinese Gardens are also the same. Spoiled for everyone by perverts, gay and otherwise.
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  , Thursday, 11 May, 2017 at 5:09PM
That's not going to stop anyone, what about the miles of fields to the back of the layby!! Looks like its business as usual chaps!!
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Peter   Thornton , Thursday, 11 May, 2017 at 3:51PM
Not sure the last sentence is quite right!
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  , Thursday, 11 May, 2017 at 10:06AM
Why specify that the lay by was used by gay men? Surely you could have just left it at strangers? More homophobic reporting by the news and star.
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Anonymous   Anonymous , Thursday, 11 May, 2017 at 9:49AM
And since these closures the problem has increased 50 fold. No longer any reason to hide what they are doing and are now doing so in broad daylight.....!
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colin   Jones , Cockermouth Thursday, 11 May, 2017 at 9:00AM
“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. Really???? What are toilets for then??
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Private   Pile , Carlisle Thursday, 11 May, 2017 at 7:53PM
Families and perverts don't mix - go figure.
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  , Thursday, 11 May, 2017 at 7:17PM
They're meaning it was closed as it was inappropriate for families to use it for welcome breaks due to the unsavoury going-ons
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