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Top Engineers Tasked with Evaluating Options for Irish Sea Road-Rail Crossing

28th March 2021
Artist’s impression of the proposal from a team at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh for a floating underwater tunnel between Larne in Northern Ireland and Portpatrick in Scotland Artist’s impression of the proposal from a team at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh for a floating underwater tunnel between Larne in Northern Ireland and Portpatrick in Scotland

Two ex-presidents of the UK’s Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) have been tasked with carrying out a study on the feasibility of an Irish Sea crossing between Britain and Northern Ireland.

As industry publication New Civil Engineer reports, Douglas Oakervee and Gordon Masterson have been charged by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson with evaluating the various proposals.

These include an “underground roundabout” beneath the Isle of Man that would connect separate tunnels Northern Ireland, Scotland and England — an idea inspired by a similar project in the Faroe Islands.

Another proposal for a Northern Ireland-Scotland tunnel suggests that it could help create a new “capital cities axis” stretching from Dublin to Edinburgh.

The possibility of a road-rail link between Northern Ireland and mainland Britain returned to the agenda earlier this year following Brexit, with one of the options mooted being a a “floating underwater tunnel” along the sea bed, as previously discussed by our own WM Nixon.

MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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