Cross-Country Road Bridges & Tunnels in the pipeline?


Van drivers surveyed would love to see a bridge from Scotland to Northern Ireland and a tunnel under the North Sea to Norway, according to specialist vehicle suppliers Lease Van, it looked at which potential future engineering innovations would be most welcomed by the LCV drivers with a second Channel Tunnel connecting Suffolk to the Netherlands also featuring.

They said routes better connecting remote parts of the UK with cities, along with tunnels or bridges connecting Britain to mainland Europe and Ireland would offer more opportunities to their businesses.

A road bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland was something many of their customers would like to see as it would open up the island of Ireland and help businesses in both the UK and Irish Republic.

The UK government was rumoured to be considering a Scotland to Northern Ireland road bridge last year with a feasibility study looking at two routes, Portpatrick to Larne or Kintyre to the Antrim coast, a stretch of around 20 miles across the Irish Sea.

Similar super bridges in Scandinavia connect Denmark, Sweden and Norway and have helped to open up the economies there while in Hong Kong the Zhuhai-Macau bridge spans more than 30 miles of sea water.

Other dream routes for van drivers include a tunnel underneath the Irish Sea from Holyhead to Dublin which would reduce journey time from 3hours 15 mins to just over an hour.

Drivers would also like to see a bridge or tunnel spanning the Bristol Channel from Ilfracombe in north Devon to Swansea in south Wales which would vastly reduce journeys in the south west.

A bridge from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight  was another innovation which the team said would make life easier for van drivers. While in the east of England a second Channel tunnel connecting Felixstowe with The Hague would ease transport to mainland Europe.

The experts said a series of bridges and tunnels in Scotland could connect John O’Groats to Orkney and on to the Shetlands, turning the Northern Isles into a north Atlantic Florida Keys style archipelago.

A further tunnel under the North Sea from Shetland to Bergen in Norway would open up Scandinavia and the Arctic Circle to both  freight and tourism with thousands flocking to see the Northern Lights.

A spokesman admitted the routes were little more than a wish list at this stage but said all of them would have economic benefits.

“Of course none of these innovations would be cheap. We have seen a figure of £20bn discussed for the Scotland to Northern Ireland bridge alone and that is perhaps the most simple of our proposed routes. And as well as the required financial investment there are also the environmental concerns which would, of course, have to be seriously considered.”

Source on possible feasibility study for Scotland to Northern Ireland bridge: