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Northern Ireland bridge will remain an ambition, Boris Johnson admits

Posted on Monday, October 25th by

The Prime Minister is not providing any guaranties for the future of the entire High Speed 2 railway line in England.

Boris Johnson has finally declared there is no chance to build a bridge or tunnel between Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the foreseeable future, he has long considered the idea to join the two parts of the United Kingdom by road in order to simplify trade and strengthen political bonds.

However, some experts doubted the achievability of either a bridge or a tunnel crossing the Irish Sea, which would cost up to £20bn and raise significant safety concerns.

At the end of his trip to the US last week, during a meeting with the reporters, Mr. Johnson expressed his intentions to fund a host of infrastructure projects in the upcoming spending review such as high-speed rail and road links.

He also added: “What I would say perhaps about the tunnel/bridge is perhaps although it remains an ambition, it’s not the most immediate. It will be delivered substantially after the rest of the programme that you have just described.”

The existing projects such as the High Speed 2 rail route are not scheduled to be complete for decades, suggesting that any link to Northern Ireland would be a remote prospect.

HS2 is already being built between London and Birmingham, with an extension to Manchester following afterwards. But “phase 2B” of the line, which would add an extra spur from Birmingham to Leeds, is in doubt and the Prime Minister declined to guarantee its future.

He said: “You will have to wait until the spending review and the integrated rail plan which is also coming out. But it will be wonderful for all parts of the North: the North-East, North-West, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby, everywhere – Newcastle, Liverpool, Manchester, we have wonderful plans.”

The proposed Northern Ireland transport link would probably have gone from Stranraer in southern Scotland to either Belfast or Larne. Mr Johnson’s former aide Dominic Cummings has repeatedly mocked the idea, called it “the world’s most stupid tunnel”.

Source: INews

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