Boris Johnson's Channel bridge: No 10 clarifies 'no specific plans'

20 January, 2018, 03:50 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Boris Johnson's Channel bridge: No 10 clarifies 'no specific plans'

The idea of a fixed link between Britain and France was apparently raised by Johnson with French president Emmanuel Macron at a summit in Sandhurst, Berkshire, yesterday.

The minister has previously supported the idea of building a road tunnel beneath the Channel, and was a big advocate for London's Garden Bridge - a failed £200 million ($278 million) project to build a bridge across the River Thames covered in trees and shrubbery - during his time as the capital's mayor.

Guy Platten, CEO of the UK Chamber of Shipping said: 'It's good to have vision, particularly with respect to infrastructure projects, but the Dover Strait is the world's busiest shipping lane with many, many hundreds of vessel transits per day.

And the Foreign Secretary was accused of a "masterstroke in diversion" at the moment that the Brexit vote he inspired was "pulling up the drawbridge" from the major economies on the continent.

But Ian Firth, senior vice president at the Institution of Structural Engineers, has said that he believes building such a bridge is "entirely feasible".

A spokesperson for Prime Minister Theresa May was reported later to have said that there were no such plans.

In a further tweet he said: "Our economic success depends on good infrastructure and good connections".


The Foreign Secretary is thought to be concerned that the tunnel will no longer be able to cope with increased demand, sometime in the next decade.

"Let's do it", and Johnson tweeted to say that a panel of experts should be assigned to consider "major projects".

Others pointed out that, technically, it's possible.

Johnson also championed building a new airport in the Thames estuary, a project dubbed "Boris Island" by the press.

A joint statement from the summit described the "long history of collaboration in delivering cutting-edge technologies" between England and France.

'Building a 22-mile-long bridge across the Channel would therefore not be without its challenges, especially as the largest ships now transiting the Strait have a height above the water line in excess of 60 metres'.

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