County council officers visit Margate RNLI site over drivers’ blocking lifeboat access

Margate RNLI needs the area at the back of Turner to be clear

Kent County Council officers have been on site checking access  for Margate RNLI.

The lifeboat crew had to issue an appeal last month via social media after once again having the lifesaving craft blocked in – and so, out of action – because of illegally parked cars at the rear of the Turner Contemporary building.

In their post they said: “Can we ask as many of our supporters to share this on Facebook urgently please in the hope that those responsible fully understand the potential implications of their actions.

“Once again today our all-weather lifeboat is in effect ‘off service’ due to people ignoring the signs, parking illegally and blocking our access to the sea.

RNLI access blocked Photo Margate RNLI

“When we challenge people (usually unsuccessfully) we ask the question ‘would you park directly in front of a fire station or ambulance station blocking their vehicles in?’ Our volunteers risk their own lives to save strangers lives at sea – some members of the public seem happy to prevent this and put people’s lives at risk.”

How it should look

The response was a huge public outcry with many demanding signs, hatching and fines be put in place immediately.

Turner Contemporary backed the plea, urging its visitors to park in legal bays.

This is the second year that RNLI Margate has been hit with inconsiderate motorists blocking the lifeboat route.

Ward councillor Iris Johnston said: “I am very pleased that the thousands of concerns raised online and elsewhere are at last getting some positive response from KCC.

“I also wrote to the two relevant KCC Cabinet members Matthew Balfour and Mike Hills and I am hopeful they will see the sense of the ground markings requested by the RNLI.

“It should be common sense to all drivers not to park in front of such an important emergency service entrance but some people recently parked five deep in front.

“The public furore is paying off and the next support needed will be to ensure the area is properly marked with hatchlings.”