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Now Dunlop proposes bridge linking Scotland and Ireland


A leading Scottish architect has proposed building a bridge between Scotland and Ireland to create a ‘Celtic Powerhouse’

Alan Dunlop – professor of architecture at Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University – told The National newspaper that such a crossing could be created for about £12 billion.

Dunlop, principal of Alan Dunlop Architects, was speaking after reports that foreign secretary Boris Johnson had proposed a bridge from England to France, something the AJ’s sister title, New Civil Engineer, said could cost ‘hundreds of billions’.

Dunlop said: ‘To propose a bridge between Scotland and Ireland would be a big step in creating a Celtic Powerhouse and give politicians the opportunity to invest in the infrastructure of the true North.’

He said a crossing from Mull of Kintyre to Torr Head would cost about £12 billion, but that a bridge between Portpatrick and Bangor or Larne would have more benefits, despite costing more.

‘[This] would be better and setting more dramatic – you could potentially see it from Whitehaven, the Lake District and the Isle of Man,’ he said.

‘While much more costly because of the geological and environmental challenges, it would also reinvigorate the area around Stranraer and potentially the whole Ayrshire coast from Troon to Stranraer and the whole north coastline of the Solway Firth for people coming from the North of England.

‘I would estimate that option to cost about £15-20 billion as a conservative estimate.’


Moxon Architects founder Ben Addy said Mull of Kintyre to County Antrim was the best bet for a Scotland-to-Ireland crossing.

’If it means that Campbelltown gets proper connections back to the rest of Scotland so much the better,’ he added. ’Although this would of course entail several more bridges.’



Readers' comments (8)

  • ‘[This] would be better and setting more dramatic – you could potentially see it from Whitehaven, the Lake District and the Isle of Man,’ he said.

    All the more reason for not carrying through this megalomaniacal idea

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  • Maybe Whitehaven is a tad megalomaniacal Michael, how about Workington or Flimby?

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  • Ben Addy is surely right, and the setting of the Mull of Kintyre itself is about as dramatic as it gets - but the bridge approach on the Scottish side would involve a substantial tunnel at least four miles long from the nearest feasible surface route for a main road.
    This sort of challenge in highway development has been tackled with great success in Norway, and the economic benefit to Campbeltown, the Kintyre peninsula, Mid Argyll, the Cowal peninsula and Dunoon could be substantial - but against all that the road might impact negatively on some fine 'away from it all' country, particularly in Cowal and the south of Kintyre.

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  • http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15893364.Northern_Irish_parties_want_a_bridge_built_from_Scotland/#comments-anchor









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  • Promotion of these hugely expensive ‘grands projets’ that have questionable objectives and economic returns, is crazy when substantial improvement is needed to our existing road and rail networks. Though of some benefit - but to a questionable degree, HS2 will already inevitably divert funds away from both for years to come.

    Investment in our existing infrastructure is already inadequate. Here in the south for example, improvements to a few roundabouts is about all that is proposed for the A27 (the principal east-west along the coast) where it currently crawls its way through the outer suburbs of Worthing, rather than the dual carriageway bypass that’s clearly needed, as part of a coherent major road from Folkestone to Southampton and beyond. It’s disheartening that such things are being proposed in all seriousness.

    There are many other examples of inadequate so-called road improvements; indeed the Government’s new roads strategy proposes many ill-defined ‘expressways’ that are likely to be little more than cheap and dangerous so-called ‘smart’ motorways without hard shoulders at best, or ‘all-purpose’ dual carriageways at worst. The current conversion of existing motorways into smart motorways is a demonstration of the present inadequacy of funds.

    Many parts of the existing railway network will also be starved of much-needed funds because of HS2, such as grade-separating busy junctions, quadrupling congested major lines, and further electrification.

    So lets not waste time, and no doubt money on ‘investigations’, on these fanciful ideas and spend more on much needed major improvement of our existing road and rail networks.

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  • This is definitely something to leave to the Chinese. They would quite likely get in under budget and on time. Give them a crack at HS2 while we're at it.

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  • Phil Parker

    Stupid proposal - scraping the lets get noticed publicity barrel with this one.....

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  • Phil, with respect. I was asked by a national newspaper last Friday if I thought it was possible to build a bridge between Scotland and Ireland. After much thought and research I considered that it was, suggested two options for how it could be done, where they would be best located and what such a project would mean for Scotland, Ireland and also the UK.

    My response was featured on a full front page Monday, took off later that day and went nuclear Tuesday. With a positive reaction from architects, politicians and frankly hundreds of comments online.

    You may well consider this scraping the publicity barrel but in my view, anything that gets national newspapers, tv, radio and so many people writing and talking about architecture and expressing an opinion, good or bad is a good thing for the profession.

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