Gate designed by Thanet teen now installed at end of Ramsgate’s Harbour Street

Design winner Lily and Ramsgate mayor Raushan Ara with the beautifully embellished gate Photo Maxine Morgan

A gate that has been designed by a Thanet teenager with emblems reflecting Ramsgate has now been installed at the south entrance of Harbour Street in the town.

Ramsgate Town Council has spent four years attempting to get the traffic measure put in place to stop motorists driving in the street, which is pedestrianised. The grassroots authority has worked with Kent County Council, including Cllr Karen Constantine, who has contributed towards the costs through her Combined Members Grant, Thanet District Council, local businesses and residents to try and find the best solution to the ongoing traffic problem in the town centre.

Photo Maxine Morgan

After alternative options such as automated bollards and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras were ruled out, the gate was agreed upon.  The aim is to make the town centre a safer and more welcoming space for residents and visitors.

Lily, with parents, Cllr Ara and Rebekah Smith Photo Maxine Morgan

Ramsgate Town Council  invited young people to enter a competition to design the gate and 48 submissions were received.

Photo Maxine Morgan

The winning design, created by 17-year-old Lily Headley was unanimously approved by the judges as it reflected the town’s heritage, incorporating the lighthouse, an RNLI lifeboat and fishing vessels.  The judges were particularly impressed with the lighthouse and the innovative way the rays incorporated the word RAMSGATE.  It was manufactured using a local company, with the support of other Kent businesses and was finally installed last week.

Photo Maxine Morgan

The gate will help enforcement of the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) that prohibits vehicles from entering the pedestrianised area of the town centre between 10am to 5pm.

Photo Maxine Morgan

A Ramsgate Town Council spokesperson said: “From today, the gate will be closed in line with the TRO and all emergency and security services are aware.  If tradespeople require permits to enter the area and remain in the pedestrianised part of town between 10am and 5pm, they can apply by contacting [email protected].”

The gate was officially ‘unveiled’ by Lily, Ramsgate mayor Raushan Ara and Town Promoter Rebekah Smith.

Cllr Ara said: “The gate on Harbour Street is just one of many improvements that have taken place in our town. I am hopeful that, in the coming months, Ramsgate will be benefitting from various other developments, which will encourage investors to come into the town, and make Ramsgate prosperous for us all. My sincere thanks to everyone involved in making this happen.”


    • A shopkeeper on Harbour St told me that almost every shop is in new hands and by next summer it will be a lot different

  1. It is superb. Well done all involved – Cllr Karen Constantine, Ramsgate Town Council, and Lily Headley!

  2. How much did this cost the rate payer? Why was this area not policed correctly? This council beggars belief and not accountable.
    The fact that the Mayor of Ramsgate has a business in Harbour Street would surely not have been a factor?????

    • The gate will have cost far less than employing a police presence, thus saving tax payers money.
      Good move KCC/TDC/RTC.

  3. Fact – the town ; High St. King St. Queen St. is deserted most days with the likes of Bartletts Greengrocers ; HSBC ; Argos ; MacDonalds closing their outlets plus many other empty shops. Is the Gate intended for the towns survival or complete closure. Fact – Westwood X is packed and the free car park packed most days. Fact – make trading and shopping in any town an expensive place to park and isolate deliveries equals Ghost town. Sad but true. To survive will require free short term parking every day; business rate holidays, grants and change of use for shops outside the pedestrian area to shrink the town. A gate however attractive will not stop shops closing. I sincerely hope I am completely wrong but ???

    • Make Westwood Cross as expensive to park in as anywhere else. It’s not really free parking there anyway- prices in the shops are increased to cover the costs.

      • A few shops in Ramsgate town are also at Westwood Cross and the products prices are the same. To me the carparking at Westwood Cross is free.

          • WALK !! ask that of many these days and you’d just get a glazed look of total incomprehension and inner thoughts that you’re a bit of a simpleton.
            But in ramsgates case in general and most definetly the top end of margate high street, walking past the endless decay and neglect is hardly an uplifting experience , where as driving to wx and its convenience means you’re in a comfy environment.
            You’ve only to look at the standard of parking outside the convenience stores in tesco/coop etc, to see that walking more than a dozen steps must be a physical impossibility for very many of our residents.

    • Fact: there are dozens of shops in Ramsgate town centre from national banks and chains such as Barclays, Boots and Waitrose to local businesses and enterprises.
      Fact: despite the prohibition signs, for years “entitled” motorists have driven up Harbour St and parked in the town centre, parking beneath the signs saying “Pedestrian Zone No Parking at Any Time “.
      Now they can’t.

  4. As someone who moans about the crap in the TC and so called art, this gate is a thing of beauty.

    A great design and well executed.

  5. It looks fantastic, we were appreciating it yesterday. Lily is clearly talented and what a special thing to be part of Ramsgate history. Her parents just be very proud!

  6. Lovely. It’s taken years to get anything done about people ignoring the pedestrianisation of this area. KCC makes sure it is respected in Canterbury of course but has resisted doing anything in Ramsgate. Congratulations to Rebekah, Karen, Raushan and all the others who have persistently lobbied to get something done.

  7. So these gates will stop the scum bags / drug addicts ? Proper policing surely.
    If someone asked me about Ramsgate at night time, I would state it is a no go area!
    These gates may look good but what do the achieve in reality, nothing.

  8. Pedestrians / shoppers are in short supply as town is not appealing to businesses ; car drivers; the gate is attractive ; but will not help the town prosper.

    • Nearly every shop on Harbour Street is having interior works and by next summer will be a different story.

      I am optimistic

  9. Dear Ruth, I admire your optimism and hope you are correct, but it will not solve the High St. King St. and Queen St. problems. If a gate was put up by Nat West ; Iceland; and Miles & Barr my guess is the town will end up with few operating shops if any. Towns need to attract shoppers and be welcoming. Any gates , attractive and well meaning will not save the town sadly

    • The gates are there to stop motorists from driving up Harbour Street when they shouldn’t.
      If they obeyed the regulations there’s be no need for the gates.
      But they don’t.

      • What a total waste of money imo. The town does not need a gate no matter how pretty. It needs money spent on it to attract business and compete. So we stop drivers going down there so what, what’s next. People are not coming to the town it looks like a ghost town at times dirty and disheveled As usual RTC no clue, how much money did the gate cost the ratepayer. I was not asked if I wanted it!

        • Ramsgate Resident Too, anyone who has ever come here to visit my family in the last 10+ years in Ramsgate have all said why is Harbour street and the area around it not pedestrianised. The area across the road opposite the Harbour needs pedestrianising too, look at any other successful seaside towns, they do not have cars racing round the main areas designed for shopping / tourism.

          Less road traffic where the shops are = more footfall, as people feel safer and that they are not going to get cars driving up behind them all the time or potentially run over. Can you image if WWX allowed cars to drive in the walkway between where the shops are? Nobody would go there…….

          Do you think the people that drive down Harbour street are driving to go to a shop there? Case closed!

          As already stated, there are two car parks within seconds from this street so where is the issue.

    • KC, cars driving too fast down harbour st put off people going there. The same with all the other cobbled roads in the town centre. They should all be pedestrianised during these hours. There is no need to drive bang in the town centre, there are several car parks literally seconds from this area for you to park.

    • It is a positive not a negative and small steps!

      In afew short years I have seen a change and I believe it will continue

  10. Wow… what idiot thought it was a good idea to obstruct the pavement by planting a massive gatepost slap bang in the middle of the bottleneck by the chippy? A big thanks from all the pedestrians, pram & buggy users, & the disabled in wheelchairs & on mobility scooters… Doh!

    • It is still wide enough for them all to pass (the pavements are very wide there, so just blocking the road would’ve allowed cars to simply drive past the gates!).

  11. What a great solution to the problem, looks fantastic, what’s needed now are business rate breaks, for new start up business like those in Addington St.

  12. These people who moan about ramsgate, have you ever been to margate ? Despite millions being spent on art and TC margate is by far the worst town in thanet. You walk a couple of yards from the TC and margate is a dump, the margate high street is alot worse than ramsgate.

    Ramsgate gate has a beautiful harbour and at this time of year the boats look fantastic. They is a lot of work being done to shops in ramsgate town centre.

    Yes it has a problem with homelessness, and street drinkers that’s nothing special to ramsgate it’s in most parts of the country.

    I think ramsgate is on the up but margate with its millions and millions spent on it doesnt seem to be improving at all

    • Yes, in Margate & it just seems to get worse year on year. Everything has been thrown at Dreamland-which still looks like a dump & the Turner/art crowd in the old town part.

      • To be fair cliftonville offers more and looks way better than it did 5 years ago. Much safer than it was as well. Although still improvement to be made. Margate and especially ramsgate are terrible. Birchington is very underrated. Hardly ever any closed shops down there

      • When you think about it..Margate from its days of high tourism and days of wealth has an extremely high amount of retail space for its small population. It has the main town, cliftonville, the old town, westbrook and a large seafront to fill. Any of those could actually cover the retail space for a centre of a normal small town. Maybe it will always struggle to be filled

  13. Very impressive gate, great design. Also very well made.

    Hopefully scooters, motorbikes, ebikes, etc will not mount the pavement to ride up harbour street.

    Best gate in thanet but really why did it take rtc four years to sort it out?

  14. This gate has been well thought out and shows that Ramsgate has young talent coming through Lily has that in abundance and her parents must be very proud of their daughter. Its much more than just practical it serves its purpose and very pleasing to the eye. The most important thing is the pedestrianised area will be much safer during the day. We do have things to sort out in Ramsgate as everywhere else in the country but our town is trying and it is getting there, we just need a few more Lilys in our world. Well done everyone involved in this project.

  15. It took 8 years not 4 to sort out because KCC did not want it. There was persistent tin eared refusal by KCC to even countenance a gate. The reasons they gave for refusal had to be seen to be believed. The cost of automatic bollards was colossal and would not have stopped motorbikes and cycles riding the wrong way down the road.
    I even saw a VW Golf going at speed going down the road one day. Delivery drivers and myopic motorists were a real problem.4 sets of signs were used over the years and each and everyone, was flattened and smashed up by motor vehicles. Last year some builders were actually mixing cement on the road.
    In the end persistence by the late Cllr Campbell + Cllr Constantine did the trick, I just did the paperwork and marshalled the data and arguments using a traffic survey, paid for by KCC.
    Really good design which could be used at all 5 entrances, well done Lily.

  16. Just wondering as I look upon these gate though beautiful I’m left wondering 2 things when are the gates to be open and shut aren’t they paying someone to do that and when the gates are closed how do folks like me in a large mobility scooter get through it as there doesn’t seem to be much room left when there shut or will they give folks like me a key maybe everytime there shut I have to go ask the town mayor to open them up for me talk about a waste of money there are so many other things to put right with the town the homelessness empty shops local crime what if the fire brigade or police have to get to an emergency are they going to wait for said gates to be open seems like madness

    • Unless your scooter is wider than a normal pavement then you’ll have no problem.
      If it is wider than that, then access the town centre by Queen St, King St or the High St.

  17. If Westwood keeps growing with plans for more retail units no town in Thanet will survive I really think they should change the name though West no wood would be better

  18. It’s in a conservation area so I’m not sure if this is quite the right approach, and I wonder how they managed to put these up without any planning permission (looking at the Council planning website)… The design is lovely but the actual design of the gates / siting seems questionable. Would be interested to know the thought process behind it

  19. An excellent gate well designed by the young lady well done, but who made it?
    It’s an outstanding build, a lot of work gone into its construction and not even a mention of who built it.
    Well done the company/ person who made it.

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