The Government has asked the Union Connectivity Review to conduct a feasibility study on the possibility of a fixed-link between GB and NI. This study will consider the feasbiility, costs and timescales associated with the project and will report back alongside the final recomendations of the Review in Summer, for consideration ahead of the Government’s spending review.
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The Government’s proposals of a fixed-link of a bridge or tunnel between Great Britain and Northern Ireland have raised questions from the maritime industry and there is growing concern over the seriousness of suggestions.
There are multiple maritime links between Britain and Ireland, which provide jobs and gateways to other locations. At best there appears to be negligible support amongst freight transport operators for this immense infrastructure project, yet it could potentially run into many tens of billions of pounds. We would suggest the Government would see a much better return on investment if allocated these resources across the whole UK transport network.
The fixed-link, which would be a bridge or tunnel, represents a redundant and superfluous project. Far less money could be spent strengthening connections between the nations with far greater economic benefits drawn. Furthermore, when built, the link could drastically increase greenhouse gas emissions from transport, by encouraging the mode shift from shipping, the most carbon-efficient form of transport, to road.
The BPA has also been clear that the Link would do little to overcome the new post Brexit borders requirements imposed on Northern Irish traffic as goods will continue to be subject to customs and other controls.