'The loss is significant to me': Wheelchair users call for lifts on Thanet coast to be reopened

  • Watch the video report by ITV Meridian's Tom Savvides

People with disabilities are calling for two lifts on the Thanet coast to be re-opened.

The lifts in Broadstairs and Ramsgate were closed two years ago.

People in wheelchairs and those with mobility problems say they struggle to get down to the beach.

Thanet Council told ITV Meridian it is looking at carrying out temporary repairs in time for the summer season.

The lifts in Broadstairs and Ramsgate were closed two years ago Credit: ITV Meridian

Jackie Sharland hasn't been able to use the beach in Broadstairs for two years because the lift at Viking Bay, and another in nearby Ramsgate, are out of action.

Those who want to access the beach in Broadstairs have to get to the Harbour Arm, about half a mile away.

Jackie says the loss of the lift is significant for her, as it makes her feel isolated.

She said: "It means that I can't get down to the beach and spend time with my friends and family down there. So they can go on the beach, but I find it tough."

  • Jackie Sharland, Broadstairs resident:

Another residents who's been impacted by the closed lift is Toby Stickings.

Toby is blind and has to navigate steep steps near the elevator, with the help of his Dad Barry. Toby says having the lift would be useful for people with disabilities because it's a quick easy way to get to the beach.

His Dad says the lift being open is all about the need for inclusion.

  • Toby & Barry Stickings:

An online petition to open the lifts in Broadstairs and Ramsgate has been signed by 2,500 people.

Helen Kemp, Access Thanet campaign group, says the lift was used in the sumemr by a lot of people with disabilities and people taking equipment down to the beach. She says: "I run a B&B and I had elderly visitors who struggle to get down with their deck chairs and picnics."

  • Helen Kemp, Access Thanet campaign group:

Thanet Council says they are "doing everything they can" to open the lifts in time for summer.

A date has yet to be given as to when the lifts will re-open.

Residents who haven't been able to easily access the beach in Broadstairs hope the lifts will reopen, as coronavirus restrictions ease.

It comes as our seaside resorts are likely to get busy this year as more holiday makers opt for staycations.