A Kemp town resident has launched a petition to keep Brighton’s Madeira Lift open throughout the winter.

Deborah Mairesse, 49, of Marine Parade, Brighton, started the petition on Change.org after seeing what a difference the lift made to wheelchair users, families with pushchairs and the elderly.

The lift is operated by Concorde 2 on behalf of Brighton and Hove City Council, and runs from Marine Parade to Madeira Drive throughout the summer.

However as part of the lease agreement between the venue and Brighton and Hove City Council the lift closes on the last weekend of September every year.

Ms Mairesse said: “I live opposite the lift, and I’ve seen the reactions when it is closed: many people with limited mobility are so disappointed that they can’t get down to the beach.”

The lift shut early this year after a small fire broke out and damaged the doors. Several flights of steps to the seafront along Madeira Drive are closed because of health and safety fears, further limiting access to the seafront.

Concorde 2 director Russell Haynes, 50, said he could be willing to discuss the lease with the council, but extending the opening throughout the winter may be problematic for the busy venue.

He said: “When we have bands arriving in the afternoon, it can be very difficult if we also have members of the public coming through the venue for the lift.”

As of October 2 the petition has 194 signatures, and is aiming to reach 200. A spokesperson for the council said: “A response to the petition will be provided at the relevant committee.”