Kent

Vandals put Viking Bay beach lift out of action

Vandalism has put a lift which takes people down to a Kent beach out of action for the rest of the summer.

Thanet District Council said the lift at Viking Bay in Broadstairs had suffered all season from misuse, which had led to constant breakdowns.

In the latest incident, firefighters had to force open the doors to rescue people trapped inside.

The council said the doors and internal mechanism had been seriously damaged as a result, and would need repairs.

It said it was currently waiting for estimates from the lift contractor, but new custom-made doors could be necessary, which would take up to three months to manufacture.

'Major works'

Councillor Chris Wells said: "I'm sure that residents and visitors to Viking Bay will be furious, as am I, to hear that the lift could be out of action for so long, mainly due to misuse.

"Our contractor always ensures that the lift is fully operational after every call out, but it's just not been possible following this incident.

"Now we're looking at some major works to be carried out, especially if we have to find new doors, as these are specialised and not easy to replace.

"We'll be doing everything we can to get the lift back into use as quickly as possible, but it is possible it may not be working again over the busiest weeks of the summer season."

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