BEACH EMERGENCY LADDER TORN FROM ESPLANADE BY WINTER STORMS

What#'s left of the rusty and buckled iron ladder which was bolted to the sea wall (Photo

What’s left of the rusty and buckled iron ladder which had been  bolted to the sea wall . It’s now just been left – lying on the beach – a hazard to visitors and small children . (Photo Michael Vodden)

One of the three emergency iron beach ladders secured to the sea wall of Penarth Esplanade has been torn from its mountings by the heavy seas.

The ladders are the only way of getting off the beach at high spring-tides when the concrete steps leading from the  promenade are largely under water.

Similar emergency ladders are also positioned along Cliff Walk although they’re only ever used by people who are familiar with their location – specifically shore-fishermen and Penarth Coastguard.

The beach ladder was immediately in front of the Beachcliff development

The beach ladder was immediately in front of the Beachcliff development

The ladder that’s been cast onto the beach at the Esplanade is one of three which was mounted on iron bolts drilled into the masonry of the sea wall itself.

Local sailors said considerable force would have been needed to dislodge it but the sea, propelled by winter storms, high tides and gales, has torn it free .

One of the three Iron safety ladders bolted to the ssea wall. They are the only way of getting off the beach at high tide

One of the three iron safety ladders bolted to the sea wall. They are the only way of getting off the beach at high tide

The responsibility for the maintenance of the Esplanade is that of the Vale of Glamorgan Council which has deferred expenditure until the next financial year, despite being about to increase Council Tax by 3.9% – the fourth successive above-inflation increase inflicted on local residents by the Labour-run administration . £49,000 was supposed to have been spent in 2015/16  “on feasibility studies into future improvements at Penarth including the Esplanade” but nothing happened. The money was rolled forward into 2016/17.

It’s not known how old the ladder was or whether – as a key piece of it beach emergency equipment – it was subjected to routine health and safety checks. The condition of the remaining ladders now needs to be urgently checked.

The new £800 a piece bnenches installed on the Esplanade last April are now - a year later - in exactly the same condition as the previous ones. Could the money have been better spent on safety equipment?

The 20 brand new £800-a -piece benches installed on the Esplanade last April are now – a year later – in exactly the same condition as the previous ones – which could have been sanded down and re-varnished. Critics say the money would have been better spent on beach-safety equipment.

£20,000 was spent last year – some critics said unnecessarily – on replacing the existing benches on the Esplanade. The new £800-a-piece benches have now weathered to exactly the same condition as their predecessors and look no different. Local residents said it would have only been necessary to sandpaper and re-varnish the existing benches.

Funding for what is called a “Penarth Esplanade Feasibility Scheme”  has been deferred for two successive years by the Vale of Glamorgan Council  – although it’s not known whether this would have included the cost of replacing the safety ladders.

About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time.
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4 Responses to BEACH EMERGENCY LADDER TORN FROM ESPLANADE BY WINTER STORMS

  1. Beach Safety was always a priority under Conservative control of the Vale Council for many years. This ladder needs to be replaced asap to avoid potential “danger to life” situations. I will be pressing the council to get this done.

  2. PENARTH PROMENADER.. says:

    SAFETY FIRST AND ALWAYS. Something Simple And Easy For The VOG To Remember And Put Into Practice.

  3. Ivor Bagman says:

    Be honest –
    Anyone With sense
    Doesn’t sit there
    If they arse nsible

  4. Janet says:

    There were ladders there when I was a kid, seventy-odd years ago – could be the very same ones!

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