A PROPOSED connection between Scotland and Northern Ireland has been scrapped by the UK Government.
The so-called ‘Boris bridge’, which would have connected Stranraer and Larne via a bridge over the sea or a tunnel below, will not be going ahead.
According to the Financial Times, the Treasury has put a stop to the plans, which were ridiculed by engineers when they were first suggested by the Prime Minsiter three years ago.
Sceptics previously said that a fixed bridge connection would be practically impossible, requiring a feat of engineering achieved nowhere else in the world, as well as potential disruption to Beaufort’s Dyke – a trench filled with munitions and chemical weapons from WWII.
The Irish sea is more than 1000ft deep in some areas, and a bridge would need dozens of towers supporting it at heights “never achieved anywhere in the world”, according to experts.
A tunnel between Northern Ireland and Scotland was also considered as part of a connectivity review conducted by the Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy. Two engineers were askled to conduct a feasability study into the link.
The High-Speed Rail Group (HSRG), composed of rail industry leaders, proposed tunnelling under the Irish Sea between Stranraer and Larne in its submission to the Hendy review. According to the HSRG, the tunnel would bind Northern Ireland closer to Great Britain and would “address problems in economic status of Northern Ireland post-Brexit”.
The group said that a new rail connection between Carlisle and Stranraer would be needed and the width of railway track in Ireland may need to be altered
Mr Johnson’s former adviser Dominic Cummings decribed the link as the “world’s most stupid tunnel”.
A Government official with knowledge of Treasury spending plans told the FT the proposals were “dead, at least for now”.