There was outrage when residents discovered Dartmouth’s public loos were locked on the busy Bank Holiday Monday, and visitors resorting to peeing on bushes in the park.

Posting photographs of the locked up male and female toilets at Royal Avenue Gardens, former town councillor Robin Springett wrote: “Not only is the town council losing revenue, but people are relieving themselves in the gardens. Yuk! What a welcome to visitors.”

Concerned resident Jonathan Hawkins hailed it “absolutely disgusting” the loos were closed on a Bank Holiday, adding: “What kind of welcome to Dartmouth is that?”

He added: “If it’s a question of staffing issues, why don’t they do what Kingswear Parish Council, which runs the public toilets near the Lower Ferry, does and employ South Hams District Council to clean them during bank holidays?”

Facebook was flooded with comments from angry residents including one user who wrote: “Unacceptable considering Dartmouth came 2nd in national best holiday resort!”

Another said: “We are a laughing stock!!! It’s a disgrace having our public toilets locked on a bank holiday weekend.”

Yet another said: “An absolute farce. I can just hear the excuses coming in about costs and staffing etc. where is plan B, or maybe plan pee!”

Dartmouth Town Council’s clerk Charlie Pritchard-Smith said the authority was not notified the loos had not been open all day until Bank Holiday Monday evening.

“This was due to an office communication error, that has since been rectified,” she said.

“We have been working with an out of hours emergency key holder contractor over the last few weeks to secure emergency cover on all our buildings and property when the office is closed.

“The contact number notices are currently being printed and will be displayed in all our public facilities within the next week.

“Dartmouth Town Council apologises for any disruption caused whilst the Royal Ave Garden toilets were not open on Monday.”

The council suffered a similar issue of bushes being trampled and peed on - and worse! - two years ago, as those desperate to spend a penny find the Royal Avenue Gardens loos locked from 6pm.

At the time, Dartmouth Town Council said it would open the loos later if they could find temporary staff to clean them. The council took over the loos from the district council six years ago.