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Abandoned plan for bridge or tunnel from Ireland to Wales or Scotland cost £900,000

20 Jan 2022 3 minutes Read
A map from the report of where the tunnel would have been sited

A plan to link Ireland with Wales or Scotland via a bridge or tunnel cost almost £900,000 before it was abandoned due to being too expensive, the UK Government has revealed.

A tunnel from Holyhead in Wales to Howth in Ireland was considered by the UK Government but found to be “unfeasible” by the study.

The final bill of £896,680.67 reflects the total spent on consultancy services and DfT staff costs. Sir Peter Hendy, who undertook the review alongside his existing role as Chair of Network Rail, did not receive additional remuneration they said.

Sir Peter Hendy was asked to look at the plan for a tunnel or bridge between Great Britain and the island of Ireland as part of his Union Connective Review report, which cost an additional £1m.

The report published in November revealed that a 54-mile tunnel between Wales and Ireland was given serious consideration as part of a number of options.

“After discussion with Sir Peter Hendy it was subsequently agreed to add a seventh corridor to the study between Holyhead and Dublin,” the report notes.

However, the report goes on to say that there were “environmental and scale concerns” and that the corridor was “less likely to be feasible”.

“The [Holyhead tunnel] is dismissed on account of a 52-mile tunnel being six times the length of any tunnel yet constructed, and whilst of great value in facilitating England-Dublin trade, being of no value to Scottish-Irish traffic,” the report says, making no mention of the environmental impact on Wales.

A tunnel to the Isle of Man and onwards to Bangor in Northern Ireland was also on the table. But the most likely route to work was that between Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Eventually, the whole scheme was dropped after the review estimated a  tunnel would cost up to £208bn and a bridge would be up to £335bn.

‘Technical’

Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps had first suggested the Wales-Ireland tunnel plan as an alternative to Boris Johnson’s proposed bridge to the Financial Times.

“Why not?” he asked, saying they needed to better connect Britain with Northern Ireland.

Baroness Charlotte Vere, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Transport, had later said that a route between Wales and Ireland was in the works as part of the Fixed Link Feasibility Study begun in March.

Baroness Vere said: “As with any assessment at this early stage, it is important to consider the broad range of options, so a route between Holyhead and Dublin is being assessed as a comparator.

“Since this route is not the main focus of the study, only high-level discussions around it have taken place. These have been facilitated by the independent technical team leading the study.”


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Grayham Jones
3 months ago

Close all borders with England it’s time for a New Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Andrew
Andrew
3 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Perhaps we could get the unemployed, people on community service and the prison population to rebuild Offa’s Dyke Graham?

huwdavies
huwdavies
3 months ago

I told you ages ago that most of these proposals were devices for shelling out extortionate appraisal fees and costs to mates in the consultancy and bullsh*t sectors. Feasibility studies are a long established scam among white collar crims close to any government department. But they do nice lunches and other “hospitality”. Won’t get shut down while politicians fight for their place at the troughs.

Lolly Mountjoy
Lolly Mountjoy
3 months ago

Another waste of money

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
3 months ago

Another set of vanity projects hit the skids.
See also the Island Airport, Garden Bridge and the Channel Bridge.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
3 months ago
Reply to  Nobby Tart

Aw, I really liked the Boris Island idea. A dirty great dam across the Thames would coincide with the opening of the Supersewer and create a lake of sewage appropriate for the region.
What gets me is that the idiots spend millions of our money on schemes that a 12 year old could research as unworkable with 5 minutes on the internet. Beaufort’s Dyke anyone?

Doctor Trousers
3 months ago

it’s a lot of money by anyone’s standards, though it’s utterly dwarfed by the £36 billion that was pissed up the wall on the non-functional test and trace system contract given to Boris Johnson’s mate Dido Harding.
So why not? What’s £900 million these days? Let’s build a bridge from Scotland to Ireland, another bridge from Ireland to Wales, we can all rejoin the EU and not have to worry about our goods having to pass through England and getting caught up in all that brexit red tape. It’ll probably save us money in the long run.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
3 months ago

What a waste of taxpayers money. Where are the watchdogs?

Marc
Marc
3 months ago

£900,000 ? I could have told them it was unfeasible for half that

Phil
Phil
3 months ago

I’ve heard that his next project is a feasibility study into an escalator to the top of Snowdon linked to a zip wire to Belfast

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
3 months ago
Reply to  Phil

What the Tories are good at, beside lying to the public, are fanciful ideas. Bo-jo’s failed Garden Bridge, or glorified planter, comes to mind, oh and don’t forget his floating Airport. Wish he would have laid down to stop the bulldozers there as promised with Heathrow’s 3rd runway. Pity.

I find with most Conservative promises pledges & ideas they never get of the drawing board, especially in Wales.

Still waiting for Boris the Builder to unblock the Dragon’s nostrils with the Brynglas Tunnels. That’s a likely as the Tories all of sudden become virtuous and honest.

Last edited 3 months ago by Y Cymro
Y Cymro
Y Cymro
3 months ago

Funny how the same who claimed this infrastructure build axed was too costly gave the green light to HS2 and other English builds, be it Hinkley Point or 3rd runway at Heathrow etc…. list is endless. The usual excuse used for any builds done in England is that it’s “beneficial” to Britain. They never say the same when it comes to Wales. Strange. HS2 initially was costed at £55 billion, price varies, but it’s said to have ballooned to over £106 billion. That figure no doubt has increased further since. As said, funny. It seems cost goes out of the… Read more »

Chris Franks
Chris Franks
3 months ago

UK government loves to waste our money.

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