Plans to build a bridge or tunnel between Northern Ireland and Scotland have been axed, according to an Northern Ireland minister.
SDLP Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans had been “put to bed.”
The British government commissioned a feasibility study to examine the project that was much derided in both Northern Ireland and Scotland. It was seen by many as a sop to unionists after their concerns over the Irish Sea border; however, one of the main obstacles to the plan was its location in an area known as Beaufort’s Dyke, which is the scene of a major arms dump from two world wars, including military munitions, artillery, chemical weaponry and nuclear waste.
The Financial Times has reported that estimates put the cost of the bridge/tunnel at £15bn.
“I was pleased that we got confirmation that the distraction of a £20bn fixed bridge, or three tunnels and a roundabout under the sea, has finally been put to bed,” Ms Mallon told Stormont’s infrastructure committee.
“We all know around this table what we could do for infrastructure and for our communities with £20bn.”
She added: “The truth is that the British government, Boris Johnson have signed up to a number of infrastructure commitments in New Decade, New Approach.
“It was Boris Johnson who wanted the terminology to ‘turbocharge our infrastructure’ in New Decade, New Approach and I continue to make engagements with ministerial counterparts in the British government to press on them to realize that commitment.
“I will continue to do what I can to secure the funding that has been promised.”