Well, yes Leo

Boris Johnson’s plan to build a bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland is worth examining but the UK should pay for it, the Irish Prime Minister has said.

It is fairly normal that the domestic government pay for domestic infrastucture, yes? NI and GB being eh same country, with the one government, which pays?

41 thoughts on “Well, yes Leo”

  1. Indeed. Quite why the presumptuous twerp sees fit to express a view, other than the fact that he’s a presumptuous twerp, is a mystery.

  2. Has Leo decided that BoJo is literally Trump and the bridge is just a metaphor for the wall? He can’t be that deranged?

  3. ‘But Mr Varadkar said if a bridge was built, he would expect the UK to pay for it.’

    Then the UK uses it. The Irish can hold their breath. Might be cause of a hard border.

  4. @ Witchie: According to the article, several people, including alledgedly Boris himself, are of the opinion that the EU would pay (part) of it. Which, of course, isn’t going to happen.

    So you end up with an Ambitious Plan, estimated at significant billions in costs to build, guaranteed to at least double going by the track record of such projects, double that given the UK’s proven track record when it comes to such projects…
    And then you haven’t even touched the matter of Maintenance yet…. Sea water is nasty stuff..

    And of course, somewhere along the line Ireland ( and by proxy, the EU) will be asked to “participate in costs” based on “benefits to the Economy” and all that. It’s part of the pattern for stuff like this as well. As is the fact that these projects never come even close to actually delivering on the “benefits” part…

    So the Irish PM, despite what people may think of his ancestry and personal habits, is quite right in stating Ireland isn’t going to touch that one even with a longish barge pole.

  5. Grikath, It was meant to be a joke, because as well all know, the EU is the magic money tree for pestilent parasite member nations – nett contributors being mainly Germany, and – oh err – the UK (for the time being, I hope)..

    You are, of course, right that such a link would need maintenance. Everything does. The Great Belt link is about half the length, and has a toll of about £36. The ferry is (I just looked) around 10x as much for a car. Perhaps the ferries need maintenance and/or replacement, because yes, sea water is nasty stuff.

    Asking the Irish for a contribution is like asking a pigmy to reach up and get something from a top shelf in a supermarket because you can’t reach ..I imagine that the Scots would be equally reluctant to contribute.
    .

  6. Ian B – Cheaper to reintroduce Droit du Seigneur and see if anybody’s brave and/or drunk enough to pop their pintel in Alban aglæcwifs such as Nicola or Ruth.

  7. If you ask any civil engineer they’ll tell you bridging the North Channel is madness, only slightly less mad than tunnelling underneath it.

    If it’s such a good idea, let the private sector fund, build, run and maintain it.

  8. Deep channel, fractured geology, low traffic levels, stormy weather – an unappealing idea.

    It would be a much shorter trip to the Mull of Kintyre, but then alas a much longer trip overland to get anywhere else. There’s good reasons why the Lords of the Isles travelled by galley.

    Why doesn’t Boris invite the EU to fund a bridge across the English Channel? Let them put their money where their mouth is.

  9. Bloke in Costa Rica

    The Irish do have a rather regrettable tendency to choose complete duffers for their PMs (quod vide Haughey, Charles), but I’m A Little Taoiseach Varadkar is a standout example.

  10. The full article is behind a paywall, and it is only the Telegraph anyway. But the little bit that us poor people can read says: He revealed Mr. Johnson has said the EU would pay for the bridge, which Mr. Varadkar said was “definitely not going to happen”.

    Based on that little bit, and guessing that Varadkar was responding to questions from some journalist, the visitor from Mars would conclude that (a) Johnson is lying to someone, possibly himself, and (b) Varadkar has a good grasp of the situation.

  11. Noel

    What an utter fucking cvnt Maugham is. Why would you tweet that if you’re a leftie like him – did he stop to think what the reaction might have been? The preening peacocking twat just can’t bear to keep his thoughts to himself.

  12. A bridge to Ireland, eh?

    Well if they start next month, it should just about be finished by year zero when they take everyone’s car away and all lorries are pulled by unicorns. I’m sure they’ll have windmills on top of it and charging points every mile, but I thought the whole idea of net zero was to stop people travelling or eating foreign food or buying foreign stuff.

    Still, I’m sure all that concrete and steel they use to build it won’t produce much CO2 and what it does produce can be offset by extracting CO2 from the air and pumping it underground. Which definitely won’t cause earthquakes like fracking does.

  13. Sorry JG but foreign in the new green lexicon is anywhere outside a twenty mile radius of your yurt, especially if it needs more than a pony and trap to carry it.

    Localism will be all the rage in the new economy.

  14. in these days of eco-lunacy building a large bridge will take years to clear all the environmental assessments and challenges.

  15. @jgh

    In addition to being ill-advised to even try building it, like HS2 there in no need or demand* for it.

    Stena (Belfast-Cairnryan) have 6 RoRo sailings each way per day
    P&O (Larne-Cairnryan) have 6 RoRo sailings each way per day
    All are freight**, cars & passengers

    The largest problem of the journey is not the ferry, it’s Cairnryan ferry to/from decent roads to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Carlise, Newcastle etc and a bridge doesn’t alter that, hence why most passengers fly

    * Ferry capacity: Passengers 410 + 107 freight Or 260 cars.
    Max traffic each way pd = 1,284 Lorries Or 3,120 cars
    53 Lorries per hour Or 130 cars per hour

    Traffic Figures don’t support a village by-pass let alone a 12 to 26 mile NI-GB bridge. As things stand NI supplies ~1/3 of UK Chicken without problem

    ** Freight: most is trailer only; driver delivers ‘export’ trailer to port and collects ‘import’ trailer

    .
    As with HS2, if it’s such a good idea, let the private sector fund, build, run and maintain it

  16. Pcar: “The largest problem of the journey is not the ferry, it’s Cairnryan ferry to/from decent roads …”

    But Boris is going to spend Billions on the “North”. I guess Galloway is “North”? No problem to add a hundred miles or so of 6-lane motorway to the project. Roads are cheap compared to bridges.

    While they are at it, Conservatives should push for extending HS2 to Belfast, using the same bridge foundations. Ask the Russians to build it — they have just completed a massive road/rail bridge to Crimea. Or ask the Chinese to build it — they built a viaduct outside Shanghai that is 100 miles long. If Brits trust China to build their nuclear power plants, why not a bridge too? Surely Boris can find the money from somewhere?

  17. There’s are loads of shit railway lines in the North of England that need upgrading before this lunacy is even thought about.

  18. Rob: And since the Northern Ireland ferry moved to Cairnryan there’s not even a rail link. At least to get to Dublin I can get the train to Hollyhead or Liverpool.

  19. Pcar,

    “Traffic Figures don’t support a village by-pass let alone a 12 to 26 mile NI-GB bridge.”

    You can’t project future use with current data when it doesn’t exist. The demand may not be there, as you say, but current data tells us nothing.

  20. Gamecock,

    “You can’t project future use with current data when it doesn’t exist. The demand may not be there, as you say, but current data tells us nothing.”

    The problem is that I’m struggling to even see much potential if it’s built. simply because it’s so far from Stranraer to the rest of the country. If you’re a guy in Belfast, do you drive across the bridge and 4 hours to Manchester to see a client, or £100 on a flight? Are families in Lisburn going to take the bridge from their cold, wet place to holiday in another cold, wet place, or just fly to Spain?

  21. Two hour drive to Glasgow or Edinburgh from Belfast might appeal to some people.

    The answer doesn’t lie in what people are currently doing.

  22. @BoM4

    The finances of flying are far from assured especially if St Greta Chunderbucket and her adherents have their way

  23. Gamecock,

    “Two hour drive to Glasgow or Edinburgh from Belfast might appeal to some people.

    Why? It’s a bunch of old castles, whisky and heroin. Pretty sure Northern Ireland has plenty of that.

    But that’s why I’m in favour of private investment in these things. People can run their own numbers, do their own crystal ball gazing. Maybe their forecasts are higher than mine, they’re right and they become millionaires. Good luck if that happens to them.

  24. Starfish,

    Even if they slap more taxes on, most people will be cheaper flying for their life than building this bridge.

    Assuming it costs £20bn, that’s £10K for every person in NI. Flights to London cost about £50-100 return. Even if you double flight prices, people can still do, on average 50-100 return flights before this bridge makes sense.

  25. @Gamecock

    You can’t project future use with current data

    In this case you can as there is no alternative if air-frieght too expensive, it’s not like HGV would go via IoM or Dublin instead

    Even if goods traffic more than quadrupled (transporting what?) to 4 HGVs per minute 24/7 it wouldn’t make economic sense; NI is not going to quadruple it’s output

    If there was more NI-GB goods trade demand there would be more ferries per day already

    Most NI-GB goods trade is Belfast to Liverpool containers
    https://www.belfast-harbour.co.uk/news/trade-2019-232/

    The “Two hour drive” to whatever, half along single carriageway hilly, twisty roads is the reason people fly, not the ferry

    In NI a 1 hour (non rush hour comute) drive is a really, really long journey; in GB it’s a long journey

    When I was growing up in Bangor, a 12 mile drive to Belfast was a family day-out treat

    @BoM4 several +1s

    It’s disturbing Gamecock and Starfish support Gov’t spending taxpayers money on vanity projects

    What next? Bridge from Aberdeen to Oslo?

  26. “It’s disturbing Gamecock and Starfish support Gov’t spending taxpayers money on vanity projects”

    Vanity projects — You mean, like HS2? Or two aircraft carriers minus planes? Or some unGodly sum on a temporary Houses of Parliament while they tart up the original?

    There are apparently more than 2 people in the UK who support Gov’t spending taxpayers money on vanity projects.

  27. “Why? It’s a bunch of old castles, whisky and heroin. Pretty sure Northern Ireland has plenty of that.”

    Then maybe the Scots will visit Ulster. A road works both directions.

  28. @Gamecock

    Trite comment and ignoring traffic/value figures:

    Building bridges is government’s job

    Why? Is that before Prosperity, Defence, Health, Roads, Welfare…?

    But they’ll make a fool of you and it’s all right [by you]

    Glasgow built motorway bridges to nowhere* in city centre at great cost with no benefit. Eventually they sold them and there’s hotels, flats etc on them now.

    A bridge to nowhere in nowhere won’t have similar ‘recoup something’ appeal

    Government’s job is spending other people’s money efficiently, frugally and for net positive economic GDP/Capita growth

    * Drove under one many times to/from GLA a motorway bridge with no connection at either end

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