Turner Contemporary backs RNLI appeal to stop drivers blocking lifeboat access

This photo shows why Margate RNLI needs the area to be clear Photo Turner Contemporary

Turner Contemporary has backed an appeal by Margate RNLI asking driver to stop parking across the lifeboat access area.

The gallery issued a statement after the RNLI revealed illegally parked drivers had put  the all weather lifeboat out of service for the day  last Sunday.

Cars parked at the rear of Turner Contemporary blocked access, meaning the crew couldn’t get the craft to the sea.

In a facebook message Margate RNLI posted: “Once again  our all-weather lifeboat is in effect ‘off service’ due to people ignoring the signs, parking illegally and blocking our access to the sea.”

In response to the situation Turner Contemporary has warned parking outside the gallery is not allowed.

Margate councillor Iris Johnston has also revealed that Thanet council will be speaking to landowners Kent County Council about putting better measures in place to make people aware of the parking restrictions.

A Turner Contemporary spokesman said: “Parking outside Turner Contemporary is not allowed, apart from the marked disabled spaces. The reason for this is to allow room for the RNLI Margate lifeboat to launch and to allow emergency services access via the road. We were concerned that last weekend, access was blocked by large numbers of parked cars.

“We want you to enjoy your time in Margate, but allowing emergency services access is a vital concern. If unsure, please check the signage around the outside of the gallery.

“Please only park outside Turner Contemporary if you have a blue disabled badge, and only park in the allocated disabled spaces.”

Margate RNLI spokesman Peter Barker said the crew had been overwhelmed by local support after they made the issue public.

Positive response

He said: “We have been overwhelmed and humbled by the positive response of the community to our Facebook message about the lifeboat access problems at the weekend.

“A wide range of measures have been suggested from improved signage and hatching to closing off the whole area with barriers. Hatching is one measure in particular we are keen to explore and something we have suggested in the past.

‘Urgency’

“TDC, KCC and Turner Contemporary have reacted very positively to the problem and together with the RNLI are examining the situation with some urgency.

“We hope all concerned will note the unprecedented reaction of the public to our Facebook post which was originally intended to reach those who do park illegally but quickly snowballed into broader messages of surprise that this situation has existed which potentially puts lives at risk.”

Margate councillor Iris Johnston contacted Thanet council and Kent County Council and says she has been told TDC will push KCC, which owns the land, for better signage, including hatch markings on the ground.

Where you can park

Information about where you can park in Margate, including free parking, can be found on Turner Contemporary’s website at:http://ow.ly/Lmoq30cHsHt

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