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PM to explore cost of Scotland-Northern Ireland bridge

Boris Johnson has asked the government to investigate the feasibility of a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland, it has been reported.

The prime minister had ordered both the Treasury and the Department for Transport (DfT) to provide the potential costs and risks of the project, as well as sources of funding, according to Channel 4 News.

The DUP and its leader Arlene Foster have supported the idea of a bridge in the past to remove the potential need for a post-Brexit border in the Irish Sea.

Scottish architect Alan Dunlop previously estimated that such a bridge would cost between £15-£20bn, depending on which route it took.

Potential risks cited by the government include “WW2 munitions in the Irish Sea”, according to Channel 4.

A government spokesperson told Construction News that it regularly commissions work to examine the feasibility of projects. “This PM has made no secret of his support for infrastructure projects that increase connectivity for people and particularly those that strengthen the Union.”

He added that a number of projects were scoped out during the Conservative leadership election campaign.

According to a survey by public sector procurement body Scape Group, 58 per cent of British adults think that the bridge and another mooted by Mr Johnson, a 55-km English Channel crossing, are ‘vanity projects’ and four times as many people would prefer to build underground systems for the UK’s most important cities.

While mayor of London, Boris Johnson advocated plans for the abandoned Garden Bridge project, which cost £53.5m, despite no construction work ever commencing.

He also repeatedly backed plans for a Thames Estuary Airport – dubbed ‘Boris Island’ – which ultimately fell through.

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