Reopening date for Viking Bay lift delayed and Ramsgate’s East Cliff lift unlikely to open this year

Ramsgate lift (photo by Frank Leppard) and Access Thanet campaigners at the Viking Bay lift last year

The opening of the Viking Bay lift is now unlikely to take place until July and the East Cliff lift in Ramsgate is not expected to open at all this year.

An expected date of June 21 had previously been announced to open the Viking Bay lift but a report to Thanet council Cabinet members says due to some parts needing to be bespoke repairs will ‘likely be completed at the beginning of July.’

Procurement for repairs is complete with parts currently being manufactured. There is a needed minimum spend of £17.4k just to get the lift running for the season. This money has been allocated from TDC’s Brexit Readiness pot, and will ensure that this lift is operational in the remainder of the summer season.

A further £1,700 is in the budget for servicing.

The report says that in the long term, consideration should be given to upgrading the lift at an estimated cost of £45,000.

Photo Frank Leppard

The Ramsgate Edwardian Lift is unlikely to be opened at all this year.

Insurance work valued at £48,000 has been undertaken to repair damage following the theft of lead from the roof but a further estimated £20,000 is required to replace and repair the first floor entrance.  The report says there is some concern with the structural integrity of the Edwardian lift in Ramsgate, which was built in 1912. There are signs that the building is possibly moving causing problems with the operation of the lift doors and architrave. A full report from the building surveyor is expected imminently.

Arrangements are being put in place for TDC cleansing staff to open, clean and switch the lifts on/off every morning/evening when they are operational.

Discussions are ongoing with Your Leisure and beach concession to agree that they will check the lift operation throughout the course of the day and be available to assist with any lift failure until the lift engineer arrives. A manager will now be responsible for both lifts in charge of operational arrangements, budget, contracts and safety.

It was announced in April that surveys would be carried out on both lifts with a view to bringing them back into operation following an outcry when ‘permanently shut’ notices were placed on both lifts at the start of that month.

Barry Stickings with son Toby

Thanet resident Barry Stickings launched a petition asking the district council to make repairs to and reopen the lifts and he says he will continue to campaign until they are open all year around. More than 4,000 people have signed his petition.

Barry, whose son Toby is blind, told councillors at a meeting earlier this month: “We need the lifts designated for disabled people and open 365 days a year. We have to spend that money or we are denying people with disabilities access to the beaches and lower areas.

“The petition will grow and I won’t stop until the day I hear the lifts at Broadstairs and Ramsgate are open permanently not just for the summer season.

“That would be a fantastic step forward.”

Cabinet members will discuss the latest lift update at a meeting tomorrow (June 17).

Find the petition by clicking here

Community backing for petition calling for Ramsgate and Broadstairs seafront lifts to be repaired and reopened

Council seeks temporary repairs to open Viking Bay and Ramsgate seafront lifts for the summer

Campaigner pledges to continue ‘the battle’ until Ramsgate and Broadstairs seafront lifts are open 365 days a year


  1. well theres a surprise – total incompetence as usual , i dont think this council could run a bath.

  2. It was out of order for most of last year, then repaired so why should it need new parts?

  3. TDC should sort this out quickly, visitors to Thanet should see an area that welcomes them and has appropriate facilities particularly for those who have mobility issues. At the same time they need to repair the lifts in the Royal Harbour multi storey car park in Ramsgate. Have they not heard of the Equality Act? It’s shameful and embarrassing and this at a time when we are likely to see more visitors than usual due to the overseas travel restrictions.

  4. Doesn’t matter which political party are in control at TDC. The officers will work at the pace they want to work at and there is absolutely nothing the elected members can do about it.

      • Much that there are huge problems within TDC, councillors as a whole are pretty much unqualified in the portfolios they hold, their policies usually driven solely by personal /political , they will have little knowledge of the details of (in this case lifts) making things happen. They can happily jump on a bandwagon wanting to look popular but short of putting their hands in their own pocket the money and detail has to come via the officers who should be professionals in their field.
        Add on the complexities of having to change tack endlessly in order to meet the whims of the latest administration.
        The council needs a binding cross party base line set for say 5-10 years that sets out the basic goals , then leave a bit of cash for the personal crusades.
        That money is magically moved from brexit readiness to lifts shows that there is flexibility in the council but it only robs peter to pay paul.
        In the wake of grenfell the council announced a 12 million plan to reprovide insulation to the areas tower blocks, a figure plucked frm nowhere totally insufficent , given that in a recent contract tender the cost of a flat roof for a low rise block of 18 flats has come in at. 400k.
        An engineer commented that to remove and replace the insulation on the areas tower blocks could easily cost 30 million plus. Its these sort of off hand decisions and plans that cripple thanet not the lack of a lift or two.

    • Without a doubt and given sufficient cash i’m sire the council would be happy to do so. However in the meantime in the real world , practicalities mean its not so easy as a petition and a few newspaper articles.

  5. At least the lift surveys were carried out and realistic assessments calculated.I would love to see both lifts working all year round but a lift which is over 100 years old must be safe to use. Chalk cliffs move or erode over time. Might be cheaper in the long run to install a brand new freestanding tower lift rather than keep trying to patch up an old one.

  6. If everyone who signed the petition bungled in £5 that would raise the money for the Ramsgate lift.
    PS if the lift isn’t working, less able people can get the Loop bus (for free) from just outside the lift down to the Harbour.

  7. Maybe Ramsgate town council could donate £10000 towards the Ramsgate lift they donated £10000 towards manston appeal and £1000 for a rusty old barge in the harbour and keep donating to the homeless of Thanet

  8. Is the cost of the “lift manager” included in the figures quoted? Is this a new position or is someone being taken away from other duties to perform this task?

  9. So if a Supermarket a Cinema or our trains and busses said oh dear we can’t fix our disabled access, mainly because we let it rot, there would be a full investigation. TDC just don’t care especially if it’s not in Margate. They are indifferent to caring for our disabled citizens. I am ashmed of TDC to me they fail at so many levels.

    • But the difference being the services you mention have a statutory duty to provide the service if they wish to operate, they could close and there would be no legal problem , in the case of the lifts they are not a core part of council services , there’s no statutory duty to provide them and are an incredibly expensive way of getting the people that moan about them not working up and down a few times a year.

  10. Maybe Ramsgate town council could donate£10000 towards the lift repair up on the east cliff, they donated £10000 towards the manston appeal and £1000 for a rusty old barge in the harbour and keep donating to the homeless of Thanet

  11. i couldnt agree more ! as for the lift in the multi story – a moving toilet thats a new idea ?

  12. So Margate and Ramsgate get their millions while our councillors and useless Craig Mackinley are prepared to make life difficult for the disabled by not funding the restoration of the lifts… should ashamed of themselves..oh just remembered…they have no shame,!

  13. Broken promises and disappointment for the disabled people hoping to get to the beach this summer! The portfolio holder for the lifts is now Bob Bayford, under the new regime. I hope he’s working hard in his new job to help his community. Why not write and tell him what you think? [email protected]

Comments are closed.