Campaigners hold protest over broken Broadstairs lift

Campaigners protest about the broken lift

Campaigners have held a protest in Broadstairs to highlight the continued closure of a lift which gives vital access to the town’s beaches.

Members of the campaign group, Access Thanet, demonstrated outside the lift today (August 16) waving placards and calling out “Fix our lift”. Many visitors joined in the protest.

Spokesperson Christine Tongue said: “It’s disgraceful that people in wheelchairs can’t get to our beautiful beaches. The sign on the lift says people can use the slopes on either side of the bay, but these are too steep for most wheelchairs to manage safely.”

The lift has been closed for Folk Week, the busiest time of the season for Broadstairs. The council says it is waiting for a spare part.

Christine said: “The lift is only open six months of the year. If they can delay doing anything until the end of September then they won’t have to spend any more money on it until next year. This is incredibly unfair on people with wheelchairs and families with buggies.”

The Access Thanet campaigners also claim the closed lift is damaging for tourism in the area.

Christine said: “Many visitors come here expecting there to be a lift. If they find there isn’t one they will be really disappointed and many will not come back. The area will lose much more than it will save.”

A Thanet council spokeswoman said: “We are aware that the Viking Bay lift is currently out of action and are very sorry to anyone affected by the issues we are currently experiencing. We want to reassure the public that we have been working hard with the contractor to fix this as soon as possible.

“The preparatory work has all been done but, due to its age, the lift requires a specialist part which unfortunately has a four-week lead time.

“We can only apologise to beach users for this situation.”


  1. Brighton Eastbourne Worthing Southend Blackpool etc would have it fixed straight away BUT this is Thanet what more can one say!.

  2. The council dosnt care about anyone . Dosnt want anyone visiting thanet so they sell off toilets shut ones that they still have . Put up parking fees and disable lifts that should keep tourists out. OH and even locals cant go out incase they need the loo God forbid.

  3. I have been holidaying in Broadstairs for over 40 years am disabled and use a mobility scooter. Thanet council is one of the most blatantly uncaring councils I have ever come across. This lift is often not open on time when it is working. I am Vice President of a charity thart represents disabled people and will advise them to avoid it. It is such a shame as you are custodians of a beautiful seaside reason but fail to carry out your duties.

  4. Brighton Eastbourne Worthing Southend Blackpool etc now how important it is to encourage all types of holidaymakers and the importance of its seaside area. Thanet arent bothered that much as TDC have put all their eggs in one basket so to speak and only want the arty type holiday makers. The middle classes, thanet doesnt want the working class families as that will lower the ‘image’ of the new TDC thanet. TDC don’t want holidaymakers walking to far from the seafront as they will see the real thanet. So as long as there is a couple of 100yds of nice shops etc close to the Turner centre job done!!…remember its Margaret first than broadstairs than the villages than ramsgate….

  5. A group of Senior Citizens are coming next Friday for their annual outing. Now all they can do without the lift is walk along the beach top unable to sit on the beach. Disgusting like most councils dont want to pay out. Wont be coming back again.

    • I’m a Senior Citizen.
      Last week I did a ten mile walk.
      Tomorrow I’m walking from Ramsgate to Broadstairs with an even more Senior Citizen.
      I don’t doubt that there are people with serious mobility problems. But most Senior Citizens are well able to walk the few hundred yards from the bus stop or the car park to the beach.
      And for those few that can’t, then the car or coach can drop off and pick up by the Tartar Frigate, just across the road from the beach.

      • Tony

        Getting a coach down to the tartar frigate, when was the last you drove a coach down there ? Not even sure if a coach would get through the arch ?
        I congratulate you on being so fit and sod the rest attitude. That’s just what I was talking about, I dont see why people who struggle to get about should be excluded from our beaches. We have a lift at broadstairs but TDC wont fix it, shame people who get get about to easy are excluded from one of thanet best beaches.

        • “Sod the rest”? I don’t think so.
          I was just pointing out that
          a) being a Senior Citizen doesn’t necessarily mean you are unable to walk a few hundered yards, and
          b) even if you are, there are work arounds.

  6. My mother is a resident in Broadstairs and has Parkinson’s so is permanently in a wheel chair. We chose to have a beach hut on Louisa bay as it would mean we could use the lift to get her down and then push her around on the flat surface to our beach hut, but sadly we haven’t been able to get her down since the lift has broken. The extended family visit each year at August bank holiday and we all meet at the beach hut so that my mother can enjoy seeing everyone and watch the children play, not sure what we will do this year as the slope to Louisa bay is far to difficult…. so it looks likely she will miss out on this rare pleasure, which makes me very saddened.

  7. maybe if someone pointed out to the council that they were breaking the law and discriminating against infirm people of all ages they might just jump and sort it out. if someone threatened legal action I expect they would sort it even sooner. (equality act 2010)

    • Why don’t you public spiritedly point out to the Council that “they are breaking the law”. Perhaps if you did that, then the spare part they’ve ordered and are waiting for would miraculously appear.
      If you look on Google Street View, you’ll see an image of a chap wheeling a wheelchair up the ramp from Louisa Bay to Victoria Parade.
      It’s not as convenient as the lift, but it’s not impossible.

    • Has this lift been fixed? It is shocking that TDC cares so little for visitors and residents of Broadstairs who have mobility problems. Christine Horner and Bob Bayford should explain why they appear to have done nothing!

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