A new Chunnel? Tunnel connecting Scotland and Northern Ireland may soon get green light

Feb 17, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

A long-awaited tunnel between Scotland and Northern Ireland could get the go-ahead as early as next month.

The connection — dubbed Boris’ Burrow due to the prime minister’s enthusiastic backing — would span from Larne in Northern Ireland to Stranraer in Scotland and be roughly the same length as the Channel Tunnel.

It is believed the ambitious plan would ease post-Brexit tensions after Johnson’s withdrawal agreement created checks for ferry cargo goods traveling between the countries.

Sign up to receive the daily TPG newsletter for more travel news!

(Photo by PixHouse/Getty Images)

Last year the U.K. government tasked the chairman of Network Rail Sir Peter Hendy with coming up with ideas to better connect the four home nations.

Initially, a bridge was considered, but the treacherous Irish sea would mean it would be closed for “probably 100 days a year,” said Scottish Secretary Alister Jack. That particular distance between Ireland and Scotland is a shipping lane known for its rough waters.

So a tunnel, approximately 20 miles long and servicing both trains and cars, could be a cheaper and more viable option.

Hendy will release a study that will deliberate on whether the tunnel crossing is an option next month, according to City A.M.

It is believed he has already had his last meeting with Johnson to determine if the government should commission a formal feasibility study of the project.

Larne, the seaport town in County Antrim,  Northern Ireland. (Photo by Feifei Cui-Paoluzzo/Getty Images)

“My strong inclination would be that he [Sir Hardy] thinks it should be a tunnel because he and I have had conversations about the weather patterns in the Irish Sea and Beaufort’s Dyke, and there’s a munitions deposit there,” Jack said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph. “Tunnels deal with all those problems.”

The Prime Minister has long been behind this audacious project, estimated to cost around £2 billion (about $2.8 billion), which would be a fixed link between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

However, Tory MP Simon Hoare, chairman of the Northern Ireland Select Committee, has dismissed the idea as “fanciful.”

“The trains could be pulled by an inexhaustible herd of Unicorns overseen by stern, officious dodos. A PushmePullYou could be the senior guard and Puff the Magic Dragon the inspector. Let’s concentrate on making the protocol work and put the hallucinogenics down,” he tweeted.

Regardless, any project would also have to avoid Beaufort’s Dyke, a 30-mile trench up to 300 metres deep — Britain’s largest-known military dump.

Meanwhile, a similar project called the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link is being constructed in Europe. It’s an 11-mile tunnel under the Baltic Sea connecting Germany with Denmark.

It will provide a major link between central Europe and Scandinavia and is due to be completed in 2029.

Featured photo by Hou/Getty Images 

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.