Plans to build a tunnel between Portpatrick and Larne are ‘unrealistic and unlikely’ and the UK Government would do better to improve transport links which currently exist in the south of Scotland, according to local MSP and Scottish Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Colin Smyth.
Recent reports have stated that a proposed undersea tunnel linking Scotland and Northern Ireland could be “approved” within weeks.
The 25-mile tunnel would run under the Irish Sea between Portpatrick and Larne and it has been suggested it could cost an estimated £20bn.
South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said: “I’m pleased that the bonkers plan for a post-brexit Boris bridge between Portpatrick and Larne has been booted out. Someone in the UK Government has eventually realised that we don’t have a Mediterranean climate in the Irish sea and any bridge would have been closed for half of the year, not to mention the small issue of millions of tonnes of explosives lying in the path of any bridge structure.
“However, building a tunnel also seems equally unrealistic and unlikely. It may be fine to say it is feasible but another that it should be a priority. If the UK Government has billions of pounds to spend on transport links in the south west of Scotland, it would do better to spend the cash on reopening the Dumfries to Stranraer rail line and dualling the A75 and A77.
“Despite the importance of Cairnryan Ferry Port, road and rail links have been neglected again and again. Talk of building a tunnel might grab headlines just before an election but people who live in the area and those who use the ferries on a regular basis need real solutions now to the many transport problems which have existed for years.”