Boris Johnson's bridge to Ireland: Experts explain why it will never happen

10 February 2020, 15:02

The bridge will need to be 22-miles long (Stock image)
The bridge will need to be 22-miles long (Stock image). Picture: Getty

Boris Johnson has ordered a project into the feasibility of building a bridge from Scotland to Northern Ireland. But these engineering experts explained why it's never going to happen.

The Prime Minister is setting up a feasibility study into a 22-mile bridge from Port Patrick in Galloway in the west of Scotland to Larne, just north of Belfast.

The aim is to build closer links between Northern Ireland and Scotland. The latest plan would have part tunnel, then going up on to a bridge which will then travel across 22 miles.

However, the project 's even more difficult than that sounds. This is one of the most dangerous stretches of water in the world.

It is at points 1000-feet deep - 315 metres. This means it would require 30 support towers 1,400-feet high, bedded into the bottom of the sea.

As if that isn't tricky enough, there's one more issue - it will have to negotiate Beaufort Dyke, which was used for many years from 1946 as a weapons dump. But nobody knows where the bombs are, because there is no map.

James Duncan, a retired offshore engineer wrote in the Sunday Times back in November: "This is about as feasible as building a bridge to the moon."

LBC's Theo Usherwood added: "Number 10 has told us this is a proper piece of work. It will involve officials from across Whitehall, all reporting into Boris Johnson to be able to say whether this is actually possible.

"If it is built, the bridge will cost £20billion."

How the Garden Bridge was supposed to look
How the Garden Bridge was supposed to look. Picture: Heatherwick Studios

Boris Johnson's other expensive projects

The Garden Bridge
Cost: £53million, £46million of which was public money.
Despite the heavy spending, building work never began and the project was cancelled once Boris Johnson left office.

Hop-on, hop-off Routemaster buses
Cost: £321.6million
Passengers complained about the heat, which reached 38 degrees and windows were impossible to open. The doors are now being closed, so passengers can no longer hop on. Both this and the Garden Bridge were designed by Thomas Heatherwick.

The Emirates Airline cable car
Cost: £60m
This project, connecting the O2 with the Excel Centre, was completed. It was supposed to be paid for in full by the sponsorship with Emirates, but it ran over and the public picked up the £24m extra cost.

The water cannon
Cost: £323k
Mr Johnson purchased these second hand during his time as Mayor, but then Home Secretary Theresa May refused to give him a license to use them and they ended up being sold for scrap.