Northern Ireland news

Bridge to Scotland 'about as feasible as building a bridge to the moon'

 Several possible routes have been proposed for a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland
Digital staff

A proposed bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland is "about as feasible as building a bridge to the moon", it has been claimed.

James Duncan, who describes himself as a retired offshore engineer, wrote a letter the Sunday Times ridiculing the plan after it was refloated by Boris Johnson last week.

The former British foreign secretary, who resigned from Theresa May's cabinet in July in protest at her plans for a Brexit deal, said: "What we need to do is build a bridge between our islands. Why don't we? Why don't we?"

The idea has previously been supported by the DUP, which proposed a feasibility study in 2015.

Earlier this year DUP leader Arlene Foster also told an Orange Order parade in Scotland that there was "growing support" for the project.

Boris Johnson and Arlene Foster are both supporters of a bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland

However, Mr Duncan argues in his letter that a bridge has never been built across "such a wide-deep and stormy stretch of water".

"For a great part of the 22-mile route the water is more than 1,000ft deep," he said.

"It would require about 30 support towers at least 1,400ft high to carry the road deck across the deepest part and above the shipping channel.

"In total the bridge would require 54 towers, of heights never achieved anywhere in the world."

Mr Duncan, from Edinburgh, said spanning the trickiest section - Beaufort Dyke - is also complicated by the fact it was used for many years to dump obsolete munitions.

More than 1.5 million tons were dumped, but there is no map of their location.

"No sane contractor or responsible government would consider building such a bridge, and because of the weather conditions it would probably have to be closed for considerable periods if it did," he said.

"This proposal is just another thoughtless soundbite."

Read more:



Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news

Today's horoscope


See a different horoscope: