The PM was upbeat about the link, which he stressed could later help strengthen the Sangh. Brexit,
However, the proposal was mocked as ‘the most stupid bridge in history’, with Tory MPs joking that the trains would be ‘pulled by unicorns’. Critics pointed out that it may need to clear a huge underseat battleship dump.
Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy was asked by Mr Johnson to conduct a feasibility study – but he concluded today that ‘the benefits cannot possibly outweigh the costs’.
He said the entire route could cost as much as £335 billion for bridge crossings and £209 billion for tunnel crossings – many times higher than previously reported figures.
Sir Peter wrote, ‘Future transport technological developments, especially autonomous vehicles, may allow for different tunnel and bridge designs, which may enable the construction of a fixed transport link and approach at a low cost.
‘For now, however, the benefits cannot possibly exceed the cost of the public purse.
‘Therefore, my recommendation to the government is that further work on the fixed link should not go beyond this feasibility study.’
However, in a line of consolation to the Prime Minister, Sir Peter said: ‘Despite my recommendation, I am clear that this was an excellent question to ask.
‘For many decades, politicians and engineers have debated this proposal, but without evidence to show whether it was possible and if so, what would need to be done to accomplish it.’
The proposed bridge or tunnel is likely to run between Portpatrick in Scotland and Larne in County Antrimma
Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy (right) was asked by the prime minister to initiate a feasibility study and it is understood that he has rejected such a plan for the foreseeable future.
The review concluded that the entire route could cost up to £335 billion for bridge crossings and £209 billion for tunnel crossings – many times more than previously reported.
The idea of a bridge or tunnel was examined as part of a broader study called the Union Connectivity Review, looking at how transport links between the four UK countries could be increased.
It is understood that the report will leave the door open for a definitive link linking Scotland and Northern Ireland in the future.
It will also recommend increasing capacity on the West Coast Main Line rail link from London to Glasgow and upgrading the A75 to Scotland’s west coast and Northern Ireland ferry ports.
There will also be an emphasis on road and rail improvements between England and Wales.
Last night the prime minister said he intended to accept the recommendation to create UKnet, a new body with representatives from four countries that would identify and explore how cross-border connections could be increased.
Henry Murrison of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership commented: ‘With the grain bins coming back into Northern Ireland from the Boris Bridge, it is time to focus on infrastructure projects that have a strong economic case, such as those in the Pennines. new line. On the way from Manchester to Leeds via Bradford.