MORE seafront toilets are needed as the island becomes an increasingly popular tourist hotspot, campaigners claim.

Thorney Bay beach, on Canvey, proved a hit with daytrippers and locals alike over the weekend - with families flocking to the revamped seafront to make the most of the bank holiday.

It has sparked concerns about the facilities available. There is currently only one toilet available - inside The Bay Cafe.

Barry Campagna, a volunteer with Canvey Bay Watch - which looks after the beach - said the group have struggled to secure funding for a designated toilet block.

He said: “As a group, we have had quite a few meetings with Castle Point Council about toilets, but it does not seem to have plans to provide toilets in the near future.

“We think they should do it, especially now they are getting revenue from the car park.

“You can’t expect people to walk all the way to Labworth Road to use the toilets there.

“The council didn’t realise how popular this beach was going to be, but we knew.

“One toilet would be fine if it was just being used by dog walkers, but there are far too many people who come to the beach now.”

The original toilet block has been converted into a cafe, which provides one toilet and a disabled toilet.

Although as part of the lease agreement the toilet has to be available to beach users, there are reports of long queues forming.

Mr Campagna said that at the weekend, a woman took 25 minutes getting changed in the toilets - meaning by the time she was finished there were a lot of people waiting outside.

He added: “That made £11,00 last year so in four years it will pay for itself and that money should be put towards the new toilet block.

“At the weekend there were four vehicles which were given tickets for parking on the grass verge outside of the car park.

“We did apply to the Coastal Regeneration Fund for money for a toilet, but as far as I know we didn’t get any money.

“I believe the council might be spending some money improving the Labworth toilets, but the ones at Thorney Bay Beach need doing in the short term.”