Boris Johnson Wants To Build Bridge To Ireland: Here's All His Other Failed Projects

11 September 2019, 10:02 | Updated: 2 April 2020, 14:59

Boris Johnson's Cable Car and Garden Bridge have been far from successful
Boris Johnson's Cable Car and Garden Bridge have been far from successful. Picture: LBC / PA

Boris Johnson has called for a bridge to be built between Scotland and Ireland - but is just another of his unsustainable, unrealistic ideas? We look at how his other proposals have fared.

The Prime Minister raised the prospect of a 28-mile bridge as one solution to fix the Brexit backstop issues.

Could this be the proposal that revolutionises travel to Europe, or will it go the same way as the Garden Bridge? Here's how Boris's other big ideas ended up.

The Garden Bridge

The Garden Bridge: How it would have looked
The Garden Bridge: How it would have looked. Picture: Heatherwick Studios

Boris took Joanna Lumley's idea of a "floating paradise" across the River Thames and threw money at it. £40million of taxpayers' money was spent without any building work starting.

With costs spiralling and questions to answer over the bidding process, new Mayor Sadiq Khan refused to give it any more funding and the project collapsed.

Perhaps most damagingly of all, Margaret Hodge's report into the project says the Garden Bridge Trust entered into a contract with a construction firm, committing millions of pounds of public money while still not having secured the land to build the bridge, nor all the funds.

So the idea of the Garden Bridge now sleeps with the shopping trolleys, wellington boots and other detritus at the bottom of the River Thames. Read the full story of the Garden Bridge.

Boris Island Airport

Boris Island Airport
Boris Island Airport. Picture: Testrad

Boris was always against a third runway at Heathrow Airport and came up with this idea to boost London's air capacity instead - a brand new airport, built in the Thames Estuary.

The four-runway airport in the Isle Of Grain in Kent could have been reached by rail in just 26 minutes from central London and flight paths over the sea would not impact residents.

But the the price tag of up to £100billion and environmental problems of building a new island in the sea made it unrealistic and the Davies Report into air capacity recommended an extension to Heathrow Airport instead.

A Bridge To France

The longest bridge in the world, the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge
The longest bridge in the world, the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge. Picture: Getty

Then foreign secretary, Boris Johnson met Emmanuel Macron and discussed the idea of a road bridge between the UK and France.

He said it was “ridiculous” that two of the world’s biggest economies are linked by a single railway line.

The narrowest point between the two countries is 20.7 miles, short of the world's longest bridge over water, the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge in China, which stretches 26.4 miles.

Shipping experts quickly poured cold water on the idea. The UK Chamber of Shipping said: “Building a 22-mile-long bridge across the Channel would be a huge construction project, especially as the largest ships currently transiting the strait have a height above the water line in excess of 70 metres.

“Shipping moves 95% of the UK’s trade – it is vital that its movement remains as frictionless as possible, without disruption of any kind. The government and the EU should concentrate on keeping trade moving freely through our ports, which is in the economic interest of both sides of the Channel.”

The Emirates Airline (The Cable Car)

Boris hosts an LBC show on the Emirates Airline
Boris hosts an LBC show on the Emirates Airline. Picture: PA

This idea did actually happen, but many people wished it didn't. Opened in 2012, the cable car takes you from North Greenwich to the Royal Victoria Dock in just 10 minutes. It cost £60million - the most expensive cable car ever built.

It has a maximum capacity of 2,500 passengers every hour.

But an investigation showed that it actually had only FOUR daily users. Indeed, LBC tried to find them all in this hilarious report.

The London Stadium

The London Stadium
The London Stadium. Picture: PA

How the Olympic Stadium in Stratford would be used following the 2012 Games was a vital part of London's bid.

West Ham were given the tenancy in February 2011, then forced to reapply due to concerns over the process. They won it again 20 months later.

A review found that decisions taken by Boris Johnson as the mayor of London to convert the stadium for West Ham’s use cost taxpayers almost £300m, while the the stadium operator has been saddled with annual losses of about £20m.

The ArcelorMittal Orbit

The ArcelorMittal Orbit in the Queen Elizabeth Park
The ArcelorMittal Orbit in the Queen Elizabeth Park. Picture: PA

The 114-metre viewing platform, built for the 2012 Olympics, was dubbed the "Eyeful Tower" by the Daily Mail, with one writer saying the design looked like "a catastrophic collision between two cranes".

In 2015, London Assembly Member Len Duvall claimed the tower was losing £520,000 a year, visitor targets had been dropped from 350,000 people a year to just 150,000.

But if nothing else, the slide from top to bottom looks brilliant fun...