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PM's grand plan

Johnson revives plan for £20bn bridge over Irish Sea

New bridges form part of the Prime Minister’s plan to transform infrastructure

Boris Johnson is expected to revive plans to build a £20 billion bridge linking Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Prime Minister is due to receive the results of a study into the project which could be based on the bridge between Sweden and Denmark.

A 20-mile crossing linking Portpatrick in Scotland and Larne in County Antrim has been on the drawing board for some time and would be flagged as one of a series of grand infrastructure projects that Mr Johnson is putting at the heart of his premiership.

Mr Johnson is also expected to give the go-ahead this week to the HS2 rail link, and is under pressure to approve the expansion of Heathrow Airport, despite his long-held opposition.

Critics have described the Scotland-Northern Ireland bridge as a waste of public money, and the Scottish Government has raised questions about the economic benefits.

The Prime Minister believes it would help to cement the Union, another reason for the Scottish government to oppose it.

Professor Alan Dunlop, a fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, supported Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar who backed the idea at the end of last year.


The structure spanning the greatest expanse of open sea is the 22.4-mile Hangzhou Bay Bridge in China.

The world’s longest bridge, also in China, is the 102-mile Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge on the Beijing-Shanghai railway.

There is speculation that approval for HS2 will be given for the London-Birmingham link, with the section to the north of England approved in principle, pending further analysis of costs and whether alternative improvements in existing routes would be a preferred solution.

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