Nick Abbot 10pm - 1am
"The nonsensical 'Boris Bridge' is an attempt to gaslight Northern Irish people"
23 July 2020, 16:09
South Belfast MLA Matthew O'Toole says discussions about the "nonsensical" Boris Bridge is an attempt to "gaslight people in Northern Ireland and Scotland."
Conversations have continued about the so-called "Boris Bridge" which would link Scotland to Northern Ireland.
"It's a frustrating thing that keeps being brought up and it feels a little like it's being done to gaslight people, particularly in Northern Ireland and Scotland too," said Member of the Legislative Assembly Matthew O'Toole.
"All the evidence shows that this would be technically very difficult to achieve and unbelievably eye-wateringly expensive," he continued, citing a "more conservative" cost estimate of £20 billion.
Mr O'Toole said neither island either side of the Irish Sea is asking for this bridge, nor finds the concept "feasible."
"There are loads of urgent bits of infrastructure we need in Northern Ireland," he said, "Northern Ireland is one of the poorest infrastructure set ups across these islands. We have no motorways between the two bigger cities. Belfast and Derry are not corrected by motorway.
"We don't have real infrastructure through most of Northern Ireland. There's only one cross-border real connection between Dublin and Belfast. Our infrastructure is absolutely abysmal. We could use that £20 billion in so many different ways.
"it's just exhausting to have to have Boris Johnson pop up and make these daft - not even promises - just nonsense," he said.
Mr O'Toole predicted the Prime Minister will "waste some money on a feasibility study so that he can announce something's being looked at" and branded any time civil servants have been looking at this as a "waste of taxpayers' money."
He observed it was not long ago that there was another "Boris folly" Mr Johnson proposed the Garden Bridge between north and south London and millions of taxpayers' money was spent to no avail.
"People should have learnt their lesson, this man is not to be trusted with these populist vanity projects," Mr O'Toole said.