Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pier pressure - an accident waiting to happen...

Ramsgate pier wallSorry, I don't often rant and splutter about council workers, but this time it's essential.

A stroll on to the pier this afternoon, blazing hot day, plenty of people on the beach, quite a few swimming - some too near the pier - and a security guard and a movable barrier on the pier. This seemed to be expressly to prevent young people coming on the pier in their beach clothes, as these presumably were those most likely to jump in to the sea (or the harbour). OK, fair enough, good safety measure, but can you believe the way it was done?

Well, the guard stood with one hand on the barrier, and one hand on the pier wall - anyone prepared to get on to the wall (you know, the one with a 20+ foot drop on to the sands) was perfectly welcome to walk or crawl past him on top of the wall, and he didn't seem to mind at all. In fact, a few times it seemed he was telling them that's what they had to do.

Ramsgate pier wallWhen he opened the barrier to let a motorised invalid carriage through, or a car, or just adults, then kids would sometimes nip through, and once a couple of them just rushed him and squeezed past while we were there, but generally he got in their way - unless they got up onto the wall.

Clearly someone is going to slip and fall on to the sands eventually - so either make the pier wall impassable - a bit of curved fencing perhaps, or just give up. Encouraging kids to perform this mad stunt just makes it more dangerous and permitting them to try is just sheer lunacy. Don't say you weren't warned when we start to hear of the child with the broken back, leg or neck. Any day now...

And this isn't actually a rant about the poor old security guard, given an impossible task with no proper equipment. He was calm and friendly, didn't do any more than block those trying to get past, and didn't endanger those on the wall. But what a bloody stupid way to attempt to protect the public. Sigh.


Michael Child said...

If the council are going to employ a couple of chaps to control diving in Ramsgate wouldn’t they be better employed running a safe and properly manage diving facility, it is after all a good and healthy sport that would keep some of our youth out of trouble.

Anonymous said...

I shake my head at the continued pathetic results of anything Thanet District Council attempt. Is the Ramsgate Royal Harbour not managed by the Port Authority rather than the grossly inept local council "cabinet"? (Is the Port Authority technically part of the council at some administrative level?). In which case would the blame actually rest with a different group of short sighted persons this time?

A decent diving area would be a fine idea.

Michael Child said...

Matt technically part of TDC so despite very high mooring fees the harbour is losing nearly £1,000,000 of our money every year.