The government is considering a proposal to build a tunnel from England to Northern Ireland across the Isle of Man, according to a report in the Sunday Times.
The project would take significantly longer than a direct one Tunnel or bridge between Larne and Portpatrick in Scotland, but avoid Beaufort Dyke, a deep trench in the North Channel that was used as a massive ammunition dump after World War II.
This tunnel would not be prone to bad weather, strong winds or Ship accidents that could close a bridge over the North Channel.
An Isle of Man route would also reduce the cost of modernizing transport links from central Scotland and the M6 in Carlisle to the small port of Mull of Galloway.Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to be interested in the idea of a physical link between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
He has experts led by v on Sir Stephen Hendy, Chairman of Network Rail, asked to consider the feasibility of a number of options, including bridges and tunnels, for the development of the Irish Sea.
The Isle of Man route is believed to be using would begin a tunnel from the coast of Co Down to the Island, and then two more tunnels would connect the Isle of Man with Heysham and Liverpool. The plan is a draft of a program first presented last year by the Institution of Civil Engineers.
Bill Grose, lead author of the ICE report, told the Sunday Times in 2020: « A tunnel north of Liverpool starts and shows up on the Isle of Man and then goes down again to reach Belfast would solve all the problems.
« Tunnels are less prone to bad weather and construction is getting faster and cheaper every year. »
Mr. Grose, former chairman of the British Tunneling Society, added: « As prices keep falling, tunnels will be as Means of connecting the UK increasingly attractive.
« A double track tunnel costs around £ 50 million per kilometer, but the cost is falling.
« If we reduce it by another 50%, tunneling will become popular and very long tunnels will become possible.
Spanning the Irish Sea, whether over a bridge or a tunnel, is a major challenge for civil engineering and would cost many billions of pounds.
Initial estimates put the bill at around £ 15 billion. Critics say the money could be better spent on more urgent infrastructure needs.
The world’s longest railway tunnel is 35 Miles long St Gotthard Base Tunnel under the Swiss Alps, which opened in 2016.
The idea of a « Boris Bridge » or « Boris Burrow » connecting Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK has made people dream of a short drive to Scotland for some shopping – but a train to Enniskillen Getting it wasn’t an option since 1957.
One campaign group has expressed further doubts about the idea of a « Boris Bridge » or « Burrow » linking Northern Ireland with Scotland.
Something about the idea of a « solid » link between Ireland and the UK gets so many people going; especially in Stormont and Holyrood that of a nationalist conviction.
Belfast Telegraph is a member of the IPSO and subscribes to the editors’ code of conduct
An INM website