Call for stranded drivers to be fined

A petition has been started calling for motorists who need rescuing from Holy Island causeway after ignoring the safe-crossing times to be fined.

Thursday, 10th May 2018, 12:23 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th May 2018, 13:25 pm
Holy Island's tidal causeway. Picture by Jane Coltman

Each year, numerous people are trapped by the rising North Sea as they flout the warnings and attempt to drive along the stretch between the island and the mainland.

Less than a fortnight ago, two Portuguese nationals had to be rescued by the RNLI and Coastguard after their car stalled in the tide – more than one-and-a-half hours after the safe-crossing time.

Just hours later, the driver of a Range Rover drove out through the water, past the danger sign, and was warned by the Coastguard.

Now, an online petition has been started by local resident Karen M Renton, demanding action.

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The petition, which specifically mentions Holy Island, but relates to all tidal roads and causeways in the UK, calls for stranded drivers to be fined, with the proceeds going to rescue crews.

Figures from the Ministry of Defence in 2017 show a sea rescue costs approximately £1,900, while an air rescue by the RAF costs more than £4,000.

The petition can be signed at petition.parliament.uk/petitions/218936 and the deadline is November 3.

If it receives 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for a debate in Parliament.

Holy Island Coastguard didn’t want to comment on the petition, but said: “We discourage the public from driving on tidal causeways outside of published tide times or safe-crossing times.

“The causeway is a hotspot for tidal cut-off incidents, whereby a lot of our time and resources are used responding to people cut off by the tide.”