News that the Department for Transport spent nearly £900,000 on research to see whether Boris Johnson’s dream of building a bridge or tunnel between Scotland and Northern Ireland could be realised, is a “total disgrace” according to local MSP Colin Smyth.
The study, which cost £896,681, concluded a fixed link across the Irish sea could cost as much as £355bn and would be “impossible to justify”.
South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy & Transport & Rural Affairs Colin Smyth said: “The news that the study into Boris’ bonkers bridge or tunnel cost almost £900,000 is completely shocking and a total disgrace.
“It is an example of yet more empty rhetoric from the UK Government and what is worse is that they spent this money on a feasibility study into building a structure which no-one truly believed could be built.
“Presumably someone finally 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 structure in a deep channel.
“As I said from the start, 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 bridge or a tunnel might grab headlines 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.”