A FERRY operator who runs links between Barrow and Piel Island has hit out at council plans to turn the attraction carbon neutral - stating it will not work.

Barrow Borough Council announced recently that as part of its low carbon scheme, it wanted to make the Island, which is popular with walkers and tourists, carbon neutral.

Questions remain as to how this may work, with large assets on the Island being run by English Heritage or by a private landlord.

John Cleasby operates two ferries between the Island and the mainland called Enterprise and Endeavour.

He has labelled the plans as a ‘silly idea’ that ‘will not work’, stating that if his boats were moved from diesel to electric, then they would not be powerful enough to get to the Island.

He said: “No way can this be done, you need a diesel engine to cope with the tides and that’s not carbon neutral when we are on the Island.

“There is a ten foot tide coming in today and my 35-horsepower diesel engine ferry is the only one powerful enough to get you safely to the island.

“The people who make these announcements haven’t taken one footstep onto the island to understand how it works.

“To make these changes the pub will need a new generator at cost, and can you imagine me having to charge up my ferry on a charge point every few hours. Diesel engines are economic to run."

The council’s vision is part of a broader plan to cut carbon emissions. However English Heritage, who run part of the Island, are in the dark over the council’s plans.

PR officer Kate Maughan-Brown, from the organisation explained that no one has been contacted by Barrow Council. She said the castle is already carbon neutral and the pub on the Island is privately owned.

She said: “We have not been approached for talks on this matter.

“The castle is a ruin rather than a fully functional property so it is carbon neutral already anyway, and the pub on the island is privately owned and is nothing to do with the council.”