Supertunnel Planned For Scotland and Northern Ireland

Wed 10th Mar 2021

The prospect of a tunnel under the Irish Sea linking Northern Ireland to mainland Britain is on the table once more as Prime Minister Boris Johnson floats plans to drive the UK out of pandemic recession.

Johnson has tasked former Transport for London Commissioner Peter Hendy to ‘address the problem of union connectivity’ on a project which has been estimated to cost between £15bn and £20bn. The scheme is seen to be part of a wider plan to improve strategic transport corridors across the UK, with the widening of the A1 north of Newcastle and M4 corridor also a target of change.

Speaking about the plans, the Prime Minister explained that now Britain is free from the shackles of the EU they can press forward with the plans.

"For far too long, we have tended to carve up the country through a devolve-and-forget approach,” the PM said. “We have devised transport strategies for Scotland, for Wales, for Northern Ireland and [for] Northern England – and yet, incredible as it may seem, we have failed to produce a UK-wide transport strategy.

"We left it, bizarrely, to the EU, which had a concept called the Trans-European Transport Network. The UK paid handsomely for our friends to draw these lines on the map, about €420m [£359.6m] per year. We only got about 10% back.

"The result is that the sinews of pan-UK transport have atrophied, with inadequate connections, needless bottlenecks and endless delays on the vital links between one part of the UK and another."