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UK Government confirms ‘high level discussions’ about Holyhead to Dublin underwater tunnel

18 Jun 2021 3 minutes Read
The proposed tunnel would stretch from Holyhead to Dublin

The UK Government has confirmed that “high level discussions” are taking place about an underwater tunnel between Holyhead and the Republic of Ireland capital Dublin.

The plan however will be presented to Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a “comparator” to the separate idea of a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland, with only one of the two going ahead.

Baroness Charlotte Vere, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Transport, said that the route is in the works as part of the Fixed Link Feasibility Study begun in March.

That independent study is being led by Douglas Oakervee, former chairman of HS2 and Crossrail, and Gordon Masterson, the former vice-president of Jacobs Engineering.

She was responding to a written question tabled by a Liberal Democrat peer regarding the possibility of an “underwater tunnel” between Wales and Oreland.

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.”

‘There or Wales’

The tunnel idea came to the fore after the chair of the Union Connectivity Review, a wide-ranging study of the economic potential of UK infrastructure, suggested that it may work better than a bridge.

In an interim UCR report published in March this year, Hendy explained he had engaged Douglas  Oakervee and Gordon Masterson to “assess the feasibility, cost and timescales” of constructing a fixed link.

Last month Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps suggested the 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.

However, he said that the original idea of a tunnel between Northern Ireland and Scotland was still under consideration: “I don’t know whether it should be there or to Wales.”

Holyhead Harbour. Picture by Darren Glanville (CC BY-SA 2.0).

It comes after Boris Johnson suggested the idea of a roundabout under the Isle of Man connecting the different nations of the UK. However his plan had no Welsh entrance.

Other tunnels emanating from the giant roundabout would run towards Northern Ireland and Stranraer in Scotland.

A Whitehall official told the Times that “People think this is all a joke but it’s much more likely to get the go-ahead than people think”.

According to the newspaper, however, the tunnel scheme is regarded as “batshit” by several of Johnson’s senior aides.

“The idea was that these three tunnels would meet in a giant roundabout underneath the Isle of Man and the tunnel to Ireland would start there,” a source told the Times. “Everyone knows Boris wants to do this so people were asked to look at how.”

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Quornby
Quornby
4 months ago

Who’s paying for it?

hdavies15
hdavies15
4 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

It’s NOT April Fools’ Day again, is it ?

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
4 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

Welsh taxpayers share of HS2 is £6Bn and that comes nowhere near us.

Quornby
Quornby
4 months ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

Sppot on Kerry.

hdavies15
hdavies15
4 months ago

Any more of these ultra grandiose ideas and we’ll have a full set of proof that Boris and all his colleagues need detaining under some Mental Health legislation. They are all bl***y bonkers !

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
4 months ago

I personally was all in favour of Boris Island which required a barrage across the Thames thus creating a giant lake of sewage as far up river as Maidenhead.
That was far more exciting than his bridges.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
4 months ago

The redistribution of public money into private pockets continues apace on every front…jobs for Tory boys!

hdavies15
hdavies15
4 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

..and that is what it’s all about. In all probability few if any of their crackpot schemes will be implemented. However millions will be squandered on all those preliminary procedures that have to be carried out to establish viability, or not. All fees paid to their friends in big city law firms, international consultancies and other laundering organisations. Organised crime underwritten by our law makers.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
4 months ago

If this is remotely true – why? The money would be better spent on the staggering child poverty in Cymru not this deluded scheme.

Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
4 months ago

This sounds like a bit like the ex-president of the US’s plans to buy Greenland or build a big beautiful wall. A tunnel between Anglesey and Ireland might be very useful when Wales leaves the UK and rejoins the EU. 😀😀🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿🇮🇪🇪🇺👍🏻

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
4 months ago

Where are they going to get the money from to pay for it? The UK is massively in debt as it is.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
4 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Owen

Open an office in Dublin and get the EU to pay for it or does that only work for the Yanks?

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
4 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Sorry I don’t understand what you mean, open an office of what in Dublin? Also you would Boris get the EU to pay? Please explain.

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
4 months ago

The chances are that this would be a railway tunnel.Interesting to see how This would work as Britain and Ireland have 2 different railway gauges.

Cead
Cead
4 months ago

The Kakistocracy will float any nutty idea to deflect Brits from the fact that Johnson and Co have killed half a million people, taking into the equation austerity and long Covid.

Morris Dean
Morris Dean
4 months ago

I’m in favour of this. Anything that strengthens transport links between Wales and our celtic cousins in Ireland.

Though it goes against my deeply ingrained position of despising anything that comes out of Johnson.

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