An angry resident is demanding action to fix a "life threatening" issue on Whitehaven Harbour.

Raymond Scurr is furious over the Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners' latest addition to the town's harbour, with bollards being installed to "block" access to the West Pier.

Harbour operations manager, Keith Shackley explained that the bollards are needed to "restrict vehicles and keep the users of the harbour safe", established after a risk assessment was carried out by the organisation.

But while the Mirehouse man understands the need to keep cars off the pier, Mr Scurr's concern lies with the effect on the emergency services.

"What if somebody is injured, or has a heart attack – how is an ambulance going to get through there?" he said.

"The barriers are difficult to lift, so even if someone was there to unlock them, it would still take the paramedics a long time to lift them and move them out of the way – someone could die because of it."

Adding to his concern, the 72-year-old said there are no handrails on steps along the harbour, and that the lighthouses are in desperate need of painting.

He said: "It just feels like people don't care anymore.

"The lighthouses are a mess – if they give me the paint and a ladder, I'll do it myself!"

Mr Shackley acknowledged the current "messy" state of the lighthouses, and said a survey was carried out to identify the work needed to "bring the lighthouses up to the required standard".

He said: "This includes removal of rooves/doors and replacement with a specific type of wood that is more resistant to marine environments; removal and replacement of the glazing and lantern on the West Pier lighthouse; cleaning, grit blasting and painting of the historic ironwork and much more.

"Painting them is also part of the work, but we’d like to try and refurbish them completely prior to painting in order to sustain them for many years to come."

He added: "This work comes with considerable outlay and we are currently considering the options available to us to be able to fund the work."

Mr Shackley continued, assuring the public that "if required, emergency vehicles can access the pier, and arrangements are in place with the emergency services so that they can access the pier should they need to do so".

He added that as it's a "working harbour", it "isn't practical to install handrails all around the harbour and the steps."

He added: "The HSE has been consulted and are satisfied that these arrangements are commensurate to the requirements of a working harbour."