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Margate: illegally parked cars block lifeboat's path

By Katie Davis

RNLI Margate have called for the public’s help in a plea to stop people parking illegally and blocking their all-weather lifeboat’s sea access.

On their public Facebook page, a post said that their lifeboat was once again ‘in effect off service’ yesterday as people failed to comply with signs telling them not to park there.

People ignoring the signs and parking their cars outside the Turner Contemporary, Margate block the life-saving lifeboat’s access to the sea.

Only those with a disabled badge can park in the allocated spaces
Only those with a disabled badge can park in the allocated spaces

The Facebook post said: “When we challenge people (usually unsuccessfully) we ask the question ‘would you park directly in front of a fire station or ambulance station blocking their vehicles in?’”

The post emphasised that RNLI volunteers risk their own lives to save strangers at sea, stating “some members of the public seem happy to prevent this and put people’s lives at risk.”

RNLI Lifeboat volunteer press officer, Peter Barker, said: “At present we are taking stock of the positive social media comments and grateful to the public for demonstrating overwhelmingly their support for what we do for the local community.

“Solving the parking issue is just one area we are working on with those involved, aimed at ensuring we can continue to contribute to keeping the sea and beaches around Thanet safe."

The Facebook post has seen plenty of public support, with more than 6,000 people sharing it and many commenting their disbelief and concerns.

Parked cars blocked the lifeboats route to the sea
Parked cars blocked the lifeboats route to the sea

One person commented on the post: “They should be towed and heavily fined. Awful to think that lives could be put at risk because the boat can’t get to the sea.” while another said: “I think it’s clear as you walk around Margate today people know they won’t get a ticket the illegal and stupid selfish parking is everywhere but nothing is done, so it won’t stop.... But to block off the lifeboat is VERY dangerous and this needs to be sorted.”

The Turner Contemporary also addressed the situation on their Facebook page, as the parking issue is outside the gallery.

They stressed that parking outside the art gallery is only allowed if you have a blue disabled bage, and only in the allocated spaces.

The post 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 this 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.”

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