Minister pleased that plans for ‘£20bn bridge’ or ‘undersea tunnels and junction’ are shelved

Minister of Infrastructure Nicholas Mallon He said he was pleased that plans for a ‘£20bn bridge’ or ‘undersea roundabout’ connecting Northern Ireland to Scotland were shelved.

t appeared earlier this week that Boris JohnsonFixed connection plans in the form of bridges or tunnels, called ‘Boris Bridge’ or ‘Boris Nest’, were put aside due to budgetary constraints.

There were also suggestions that England, which had been debated for years, could be connected to the NI and Scotland via a series of tunnels connected to an underwater roundabout under the Isle of Man.

A UK Government official was reported to have told the Financial Times earlier this week that plans for a fixed link between NI and GB are “dead, at least for now”.

The government did not deny that the plans have been shelved, telling the Belfast Telegraph: “Increasing connectivity and improving transport infrastructure across the UK is at the heart of our leveling agenda.

“This is why we have asked Sir Peter Hendy to lead a Union Connectivity Review to look at future transport priorities based on the broader strategic situation for investment and the benefit this will bring to people and businesses in the UK.

“Behind the interim report in March, we committed £20m to develop plans that could consider options in road and rail plans.

“We are now awaiting their final recommendations before the spending review, where we will evaluate and approve funding plans to better connect all parts of the UK.”

At a meeting of Stormont’s Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday, SDLP’s Dolores Kelly asked Minister Mallon if the Treasury had further commitments to improve Northern Ireland’s infrastructure.

“Given that Boris Johnson has abandoned both the bridge and the tunnel, and that the Executive and the British Government, like many other countries, have recognized the importance of infrastructure as the main driver of the post-Covid recovery … British Government for money fenced off for infrastructure here or A commitment from the Treasury?” Miss Kelly asked.

Mallon replied: “I am pleased to receive confirmation that the distraction of a £20bn fixed bridge or three tunnels under the sea and a roundabout is finally over. It was a bridge estimated to cost around £20bn and £20bn for our infrastructure and communities. we all know what we can do around this table.

“The fact is that Boris Johnson and the British Government made a number of infrastructure commitments in the New Decade, New Approach (NDNA) agreement. It was Boris Johnson who wanted to ‘turbocharge’ our infrastructure at NDNA, and I continue to do so. make agreements with their counterparts in the British Government to put pressure on them.”

Official feasibility study The transition to a ‘hard link’ between GB and NI is still in progress.

One of the main problems with a bridge or tunnel connecting Northern Ireland to Scotland is the area of ​​Beaufort’s Dyke in the Irish Sea, where over a million tons of munitions from the two world wars are believed to have been dumped by the War Office and its successor. , Department of Defense, until the mid-1970s.

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