By Andrew Starke

The City of Sydney is to trial portable urinals on Friday and Saturday nights following the success of these outdoor facilities in other cities and during large music festivals in Australia.

The portable urinals are being trialed as part of range of measures to improve safety, assist people in getting home after a night out and to help keep the city clean.

“Residents have been complaining for years about public urination on their doorstops, in driveways and on house and building walls,” City of Sydney's late night economy manager Suzie Matthews said.

"It's disgusting and they shouldn't have to put up with it. People are ignoring proper toilet facilities provided throughout the city centre but our research shows that they will use these temporary outdoor urinals and that's why we are trialing them.”

The four temporary outdoor urinals will be trialed over four weekends on Friday and Saturday nights and then removed early the following morning.

Locations have been chosen based on where the council was getting the most complaints from and on anecdotal evidence.

These will be: Fitzroy Gardens, Springfield Mall and Roslyn Plaza in Kings Cross and in Oxford Square.

"These portable facilities are already in London, Amsterdam, Edinburgh and Canada and research shows they have significantly reduced urination in alleyways and around buildings," Matthew said.

"The city faces huge clean up bills after each weekend and cleaning-up this disgusting mess costs ratepayers more than $7 million a year.”

She cited police figures which show that charges for offensive conduct, which includes public urination, have increased by 30 percent over the past 24 months. The penalty is $200.

East Sydney resident Christine Byrne said this was a serious problem that has been going on for years.

"I'm in an apartment and I look north over East Sydney and on Friday and Saturday nights, I cannot tell you the number of people I see using the front of peoples’ homes, the footpaths, terraces and driveways of apartment blocks – as urinals," Byrne said.

"When wake up in the morning and walk up the street to get the paper, the smell cannot be missed as the streets have clearly been used as a public toilet overnight."

The trial is in addition to the City's Precinct Ambassadors in George Street to assist crowd movements and the installation of new late night signage directing people to transport options.

"We are also providing new directional signage to help people find transport and public toilets more easily," said Matthews.

More than 90 new signs directing people to trains and taxi ranks will be installed in areas with high pedestrian volumes late at night in Kings Cross, Oxford Street and George Street South.

The City worked with NSW Police, local liquor accords and licensees in identifying appropriate locations for the signage to be installed.

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