Do we need a road bridge or tunnel across the Channel?

You could argue that as the rail tunnel is not at anything like full capacity it would be wrong to add another cross Channel link. Clearly the owners of the rail tunnel would not welcome a new competitor, and were not expecting one under the terms of their concession.

You could also argue that maybe a road link would be more popular and better used than the rail one. Whilst a new road would doubtless do considerable damage to the business model of the rail tunnel by taking substantial traffic away from it, it might also generate some additional traffic of its own. If more French people came to the UK as tourists that would be a bonus for the UK economy. If more UK people went to the continent to shops and holiday it would be bad for the UK balance of payments, but might be welcomed by  those taking advantage of cheaper and easier travel.

It is difficult to see the Channel tunnel keeping much of its shuttle business carrying lorries, if they were able to carry on driving to get to the UK. That is the mainstay of the tunnel’s freight business, which would be badly affected. Passenger traffic is more difficult to gauge, but again there could a lot of people who would like to go by their own car instead of taking the train and  then hiring a car or using taxis when they get to the cities on the continent served by the trains.

My advice to the government would be  not to commit any public money to a road crossing. They should also check the legal position carefully over the concession to the current Channel tunnel operators and owners. There are many other road projects we need in the UK that should take priority for limited sums of public capital. If the private sector wishes to design, build, operate and finance a road link then of course the government should be willing with the French authorities to examine the scheme to see if it deserved approval and support from the government as regulator. It would need to be built with artificial  islands to avoid ship collisions with its piers, and would need to leave plenty of rooms for deepwater shipping lanes in what is a very busy piece of water.

The government would need to consider the security and borders consequences of a road link, given the difficulties the rail link helps create in Calais today. It sounds as if from additional briefing there are no current plans for such a scheme.

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114 Comments

  1. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    This is a complete red herring, as there is no real need nor call for a new link. If anything it’s a political thing which will never get private backing.

    That probably means that T May will make it a top priority and declare that she is setting up a new Department for Cross Channel Crossings, until she’s told it’s totally daft, when the whole idea will be promptly ditched.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Doubtless T May (with her juvenile gender pay gap agenda) would insist that at least 50% of the civil engineers, structural engineers, material engineers, electrical engineers, quantity surveyors, mathematicians and construction workers working on it are female.

      That will certainly kill it dead, as there is such a small pool of suitably qualified such females around. They seem to prefer subjects like languages, performing arts, gender studies, law, geography, nursing or similar. There are of course a few excellent ones, just not very many of them.

    • Hope
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      JR, on day where there is heavy criticism of your party by your party for lack of vision, direction, policy, lack of direction on Brexit, no conviction in conservatism, you come out with this tripe. You state there are no talks at the moment about the Brexit. I disagree the French no eU countries are talking and planning what they want. Have you now capitulated and accepted that May has sold us out and there is nothing Tory Leave MPs can do?

      Public services are in a dire state, criminal justice is in a disgusting mess highlighted all over the media, military decimated, mass immigration overwhelming our taxes, public services in a shambolic third world condition, housing problems, schools in a mess, taxes increased on a daily basis, Maurant writing stupid articles that are simply untrue. There are so many policy issues your party needs to address. May agrees in phase one to stay under EU control and give vast sums of our taxes to stay in all but name to the EU. May wants to talk about the EU plastic bag directive! May wants more immigrants from Calias and give away more taxes to the French! May happy to allow the circus of MPs visiting Barnier to undermine our nation and negotiations for the future! Hello, is there a Tory MP left?

      • alan jutson
        Posted January 22, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        Hope

        You sound as if you are as frustrated as many others out here in the real World..

        A complete and utter lack of communication (although that has been the same for years with the Conservative Party) and lack of any real vision for the future.

        Its as if the Conservative Party does not like to even appear to be conservative at all, so it says nothing, meanwhile the Socialist/Communists are making all of the running with some of their own silly idea’s, without any sensible comment at all in return.

        JR we really do need a government with DRIVE, that to borrow a phrase will PUT BRITAIN FIRST instead of everyone else.

        Why are we willing to wait for the EU to come back to the negotiation table in March, when both sides say time is running out.
        This will just drag on for years if we let it, and that is exactly what is happening.

      • Mark B
        Posted January 22, 2018 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        Silence can the stern reply.

        Our kind host has gone on record saying, that the onlyneeaspn the Tories were granted a referendum was because there was pressure from within and had nothing to do with UKIP. It rather seems they, the Tory Europhiles, have lost their Mojo !

        • Hope
          Posted January 22, 2018 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

          The kind host was totally wrong. As we now witness the remainers in his party ignore their voters, party and the nation to carry on their EU fanaticism. It was UKIP and the EU election results that was the game changer it scared Cameron, like Macron Cameron would have ignored the public. You might recall his first reaction after the election to the press: did Tories win and did Farage get a seat! That was his worry, nothing to do with his party. Look at Cameron’s cabinet members, look at their behaviour now. JR and chums were not a feature then or now. Why has May not loaded the cabinet with minister believers in Brexit? Why are her remaining colleagues still allowed free reign to talk against govt policy, moreover if they disagree with Brexit they should resign. That is the purpose of collective responsibility.

          May needs to be ousted.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted January 23, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

            Theresa May would have had a problem finding enough senior Tories who genuinely supported Brexit to constitute an entire ministerial team … and of course she did not support Brexit herself before the referendum. It can also be argued that she needed to try to reunite both sides on the basis that the decision had been taken and now had to be implemented. Unfortunately there are some who are a bit reluctant to properly implement that decision, and journalists love to play that up.

          • NickC
            Posted January 23, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

            Denis, Indeed. But government implementation of policy is driven by the civil service. The FCO regards our Leave vote as a “disaster” (I’m quoting). And they are the gateway.

            That is what was so absurd about the Remain whinges, in late 2016, that we didn’t have any negotiators. Our FCO guys’n’gals have been negotiating in the EU for 40 years. The hapless politicians just sign on the dotted line afterwards.

        • forthurst
          Posted January 22, 2018 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

          It is pretty obvious that the Tory Party is a remoaniac party that some brexiter politicians belong to both for reasons of expediency and snobbery. It is also pretty obvious that on the whole brexiter tories can look forward to a glittering career sitting on the back benches with the odd exception promoted to illustrate the contention that brexiter Tories are UKIP lite nutters, fruitcakes etc. However, the progress that UKIP made from 2010 shook the Tory central command and when UKIP won the most seats in the European parliamentary elections that needed a strategy to ensure that UKIP did not break through in 2015: the barrier to entry put up by the FPTP system is unfairly high but breakthroughs nevertheless can be spectacular, hence the EU Referendum which of course backfired unlike the fake AV as PR stunt. Without UKIP and Farage there would never have been a Referendum and we would be reading scholarly articles by JR about why we would better off leaving the United States of Europe.

          Reply What nonsense. There were no UKIP MPs in the room when we persuaded Mr Cameron to hold a referendum, and no UKIP votes in the Commons for the Article 50 letter or the Withdrawal Bill. This had to be done by the Conservative party as I consistentky argued.

          • forthurst
            Posted January 23, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

            Reply to Reply: John Sweeney of Newsnight introduced his item last night, ” four years ago , UKIP won more votes in the European Elections than any other party in the European Elections eventually forcing David Cameron’s hand to call the Brexit Referendum …”

            fake news?

            Reply Inaccurate account of what happened as I have often explained.

      • The Prangwizard
        Posted January 22, 2018 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

        I gave up on our host long ago. The party and its leader – even if it were a three legged blind donkey – comes before EVERYTHING. He will complain a little but will do nothing publicly and maybe not even privately so those of who might have looked to him for support will always be let down. If the party says jump he might not ask how high but he’ll jump. That’s why May has nothing to fear from him.

  2. sm
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    I have just been reading a history of the Medici family of Florence. When the family was in the ascendancy, they looked after their resources and spent their money reasonably carefully and wisely. They also, by the standards of the C15th and C16th, did charitable work and erected buildings for use by the poor.

    Once the money started to disappear over the following two centuries, the two Medici Queens of France and the Grand Dukes of Tuscany started major palatial building projects that benefitted only themselves, and as far as Tuscany was concerned, left the area impoverished and totally vulnerable to a takeover by the Austrian Emperor.

    May I suggest the Foreign Secretary concentrates on the vast number of real world problems rather than theorising about pie-in-the-sky ventures?

  3. Duncan
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    The UK desperately needs a new PM that believes in a sovereign, independent UK not a bridge linking the UK to mainland Europe.

    This idiotic bridge idea is political virtue signalling of the clumsiest sort. Yes, we all know this PM adores the EU and resents Brexit but can we please get back to the real world

    The sooner my party does what we all know needs to be done, dispensing with May, the sooner we can get on with confronting the threat from the EU and the threat posed by Marxist Labour

    • NickC
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Duncan, Whilst I sympathise with you in your travails with your party, I have to ask: which party is that? Is it the party of majority Remain MPs? Or the party of majority Leave voters?

      Tories have saddled themselves, and us, with a Remain PM who is delivering Remain policies: in the EU for 5 years (at least) after the vote; regulatory alignment for years after; more money to the EU than our net contributions; still subject to the ECJ; EU control of fishing; subjugation to EU security, diplomatic and military policies in perpetuity.

      Tories like you used to say: “vote UKIP, get Labour” and apparently some voters believed you. But we have got neo-Labour anyway. And frankly I care less about whether Britain’s railways are nationalised or not, than leaving the EU.

    • acorn
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      Duncan, I think you will find that your Conservative Party, would much sooner get rid of the likes of you, than it would Mrs May.

      There is coming a point where Mrs May is going to have to flush out the alt-right / Brexiteers from the party. The Rees-Mogg faction, will increasingly be portrayed, by all sides, as Dickensian; wanting to take the UK back to the Victorian era.

      By the 2022 election, the mood of the country will have; more likely than not, shifted to the centre, if not the (non-Marxist) centre left, due to household’s simply realising that their spending power has been reduced considerably, by a decade of Conservative Party austerity governments.

      The prime directive of the Conservative Party compels it to do whatever it takes to stay in power. If bodies have to be sacrificed; so be it.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 23, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        This may be why the department charged with implementing the official policy of withdrawal from the EU rarely replies to attacks on that policy and it seems is quite content for its opponents to build up public support.

  4. Richard1
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    It would be nice to have for sure. But of course there should not be public money, that would be better spent on improving existing roads even down to the level of repairing potholes.

    The existing link could do with a competitor. Given it’s apparently not at anything like full capacity, it’s odd it experiences such delays. The only way to ensure a smooth journey without significant delays is to buy the flexiplus tickets at £250 or so versus £70 or so for the ordinary ones. £250 is a lot for a 1/2 hour rail journey.

    • forthurst
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

      Of course the existing link has got competition in the form of air and sea both of which are far cheaper and more flexible than any fixed link.

      Emmanuel Macron said “let’s do it”. Clever man, he realised immediately that it was a stupid idea and that therefore either Boris or May would have to lose face by unilaterally backing off.

  5. Cheshire Girl
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    In one word – No!

    • NickC
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Cheshire Girl, that’s a NO for me too. As Man of Kent says, this channel bridge proposal is displacement activity. And if it wasn’t actually activity Mrs May would go for it.

  6. Man of Kent
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Surely any discussion of a Bridge scheme is a displacement activity . There’s no money and no return .Forget it until a proper Brexit has been achieved and we are in surplus on current account.
    I thought we had some control and a plan over Brexit but I am sadly disillusioned over the whole affair .
    There is no leadership and that’s it – get rid of May now .
    Oh but you can’t while negotiations are going on !
    Rubbish – we replaced Churchill with Attlee at Potsdam with the future of Europe and the West at stake at the end of the war .

  7. Man of Kent
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    How do we recover from the disastrous capitulation to the Irish matter ?

    • NickC
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Man of Kent, There is no recovery possible whilst Mrs May clings on to power. There is no possibility of replacing her with a Leave PM because the majority of Tory MPs are Remains. Thus is Leave flushed down the drain, and we get Remain policies instead.

  8. FrankW
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Now i know we are in deep trouble with the brexit talks when on of the leading advocates for it is resorting to this type of inconsequential nonsense as a divetsion..

    Reply There are no talks at the moment to talk about!

    • Know-Dice
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply:

      And may be that’s why trade deals take years!!!

      About time somebody pulled their finger out and got on with talks about talks…

  9. Danni
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    You say people may want to be able to drive their own cars across the channel rather than have to hire once they reach their destination. This suggests you perhaps aren’t aware that private cars, as well as lorries, use the channel tunnel.

    • hefner
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      And that for regular users it is possible to cross for £43 each way, £86 return (and that is Flexiplus, allowing to take tickets up to 24h before the time of crossing, with up to a 2-hour delay on your original time in case of slow traffic on M25, M26, M20).

  10. alan jutson
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    In short, No

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Indeed no public money should be the rule. But it seems to make little economic sense to me, I would certainly not be investing anything (other than short selling it perhaps).

    This should also apply to the absurd tax payer subsidised roll out of duff or premature “green” technology – such as wind, PV, “lagoons”, electric cars and most of the idiotic rail projects …………….

    Governments should largely stick to the rather few things that governments actually can do best. defence, law and order with deterrents (that they largely seem to have given up on now) and a sensible cost effective legal system – 20% of GDP is plenty for all this. 40-50% of GDP is absurd, no wonder UK productivity is a problem.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      As Adam Smith put it.

      Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice.

      I suppose we currently have peace and nearly a tolerable administration of justice (but with vast room for improvement) but we are hugely over taxed (and all for almost nothing in the way of public services of real value).

  12. Bob
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Your conclusion is corrent Mr Redwood, there is no need for another tunnel.

    If there’s any money burning a hole in government’s pockets it should be used to rebuild out armed forces and make sure that our lads and lasses are properly equipped and remunerated.

  13. oldtimer
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    There are other, better uses for investment capital. The last thing the UK needs is yet another totemic, HS2 like, politically driven project.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      The Channel Tunnel cost about £5 billion at the time (1988-94). Had that sum been invested in sensible things such as the areas I invest in (or W Buffet or similar) with reinvestment of the income for those years, it would be worth about £600 billion by now.

      What is the tunnel actually worth now? Perhaps £20 billion tops? We could surely put all the traffic onto ships for much less than £1 Billion PA.

      If you added in all the other endless blunders of government such as Concord, the Millennium Dome, the Aircraft Carriers, the ERM, HS2, the EU fees, the wars on a lie, the dire NHS, the green crap subsidies …… then we really would be a very rich country indeed.

  14. agricola
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    You answer your own question by confirming that not enough people or goods are using the existing rail tunnel or ships. Would this route be more popular were it minus the gangs of economic migrants. Their presence would certainly affect where I chose to cross.

  15. Richard1
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Off topic, a retired foreign office official is attempting to promote a book he has written by making sensational claims that Margaret Thatcher in the late 80s (totally false and unpleasant claims deleted ed) We heard nothing about this at the time of course, and her public utterances indicated the opposite view. Since you knew her well and were an MP at this time do you think there is any truth in this, or is it perhaps fake news?

    • Richard1
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Interesting that you feel obliged to censor even the allegation made against Margaret Thatcher – which has been reported in newspapers. We can take it therefore that this is indeed fake news by this retired FO official. But his book – which will surely depend for its sales on these sensational and false claims – is being serialised in a national newspaper. I hope there will be a robust rebuttal by those who knew and worked with Margaret Thatcher. And let’s hope it happens soon so as this individual does not benefit from his fake news memoires.

  16. Bert Young
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Absolutely ridiculous idea . Apart from the stupidity of the economic case , there is no logic whatsoever in a cross channel bridge . Boris has often come out with some looney expressions and ideas in the past but this one beats the lot . We need all the natural barriers possible to keep out the unwanted and illegals – even with the defences that now exist some are still getting through . Hopefully there are still some level headed decision makers around the place to prevent this getting any further .

  17. Ian Wragg
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    A bridge over the channel would destroy the tunnel and ferry services. There would probably be no net gain for either Britain or France and no doubt the toll would be set at £200.
    Just another security headache and a gift for illegal immigrants.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      It would certainly devalue the rail tunnel hugely if it were actually built.

  18. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    There is an old Russian proverb: “Do not trouble your head”.

  19. fedupsoutherner
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Considering we voted Brexit and one of the most important reasons was immigration I am surprised we are even thinking about another easy route to mainland Europe. It is beyond belief. How many illegal immigrants and terrorists would find it much easier to come to the UK? They could be picked up anywhere along the route and just driven over in their thousands. We don’t search vehicles thoroughly now and many are getting through in the backs of lorries so if the general public could just drive over it would be worse. I think it’s a bad idea all round and the present rail tunnel and ferries would miss out on trade more than they do now. Anyone would think we had surpluses of money laying around for these ideas when the infrastructure here needs badly attending to. Just dealing with pot holes would be a good start seeing as our roads are falling apart at a great rate of knots.

  20. Rien Huizer
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Apart from the obvious problems associated with a bridge (height, risks for traffic, highly uncertain cost: there are very long bridges elsewhere now but they tend to be built in shallower water, with islands here and there and ever in such a busy shipping lane), a privately financed bridge would have all the problems of the channel tunnel. Apparently the main reason for trains carrying trucks/trailers was tunnel ventilation. Of course that could be solved by the ascent of electric vehicles. So I guess that (a) a simple road traffic tunnel would be cheaper and (b) ten years from now there would be ample availability of electric truck tractors, not to mention electric passenger cars. And boring a tunnel is much cheaper than building a bridge.

    • stred
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink
      • alan jutson
        Posted January 22, 2018 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        Stred

        Interesting programme on TV this lunchtime, the Police it appears will not touch a hybrid or electric car if it has been involved in an accident, because it may be “LIVE”.

        Thus it is left in position until a breakdown service turns up who have both the knowledge and the tools to first test, and then deal with it.

        Another unintended consequence of electric and hybrid vehicles, of which I was unaware until today.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted January 23, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

        Building a road tunnel (with very large parking lots on both sides to accommodate the customs and immigration facilities) will take at least ten years. By then electric vehicles will be much more mature and may have started to dominate traffic in the cities. By the way, such a road tunnel would probably do what the ro-ro ferries do now: drive a trailer on board on one side and hook that trailer up to a local (UK or EU drive) tractor or use specialized Tunnel electric tractors. Passenger cars with electric or hybrid propulsion could use it too. Pure internal combustion vehichles could use the exiting tunnel. Anyway, no one needs it and traffic across the channel will possibly shrink initially in 2019.

  21. Nig l
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Nick Boles got it absolutely right. There is a timidity and lack of ambition about Theresa May. I agree with you about the road but the government should be spewing out ideas, off the wall or not, fund a few viability reports etc to show some vibrancy and who knows, as with any brainstorming, often something interesting emerges.

    At least Boris is showing he has a pulse!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Given May’s lack of direction, limited grasp of logic and science and her general broken compass perhaps we should be rather grateful that as you put it “There is timidity and lack of ambition about Theresa May”.

      Otherwise we might have even higher taxes still, even more daft & PC over regulation of everything, more green lunacy, more gender pay drivel expenses and even more chance of Corbyn!

      Will someone please tell her that plastic can indeed be recycled just fine and when it cannot you can just burn it for energy. Also that most plastic and other packaging serves a rather impotent purpose in distribution and preventing damaged goods.

  22. Old Albion
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    No

  23. majorfrustration
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    We already have enough over budget late running capital projects where lesson still have to be learnt and never will.

  24. Atlantic Span
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Not to mention the logistical nightmare of building a bridge across the world’s busiest shipping lane. I’m putting the proposal down to a rush of blood to the head!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      A desire to be always in the news if at all possible.

  25. Mark B
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    But I bet somewhere along the line the UK and French governments agree to examine the scheme. Much work there for Civil Servants and the like 😉

  26. Epikouros
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Much of what the public sector does could be more economically, competentently and efficiently be done by the private sector as long as it not quasi private sector like PFI and that which is instigated by politicians. After all politicians aided and abetted by civil servants, so called experts and vested interests only either think they know what the consumer requirements are(they actually do not have a clue) or are seeking political or financial advantage.

    The private sector does know what the consumer wants mostly because the market place indicates a demand or an enterprising entrepreneur deduces a demand maybe forthcoming if a product or service is made available. If a private sector supplier miscalculates or does not supply the best then that supplier is punished at a cost born by that supplier that cannot be said of the public sector as they are not punished and the cost is not theirs but the taxpayers.

    Under normal circumstances a decision on whether a channel bridge should be constructed or not should be decided by the private sector with no political input whatsoever. However the tunnel was based on a political decision and not surprisingly turned out to be a pig in a poke and is hard pressed to make itself financially viable. So no doubt the political question has be to asked will a bridge bring about the tunnels demise and the need arise rescue it by large government subsidies. It would undoubtedly see the end of most of the cross channel ferry operators.

  27. stred
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Firstly, a road tunnel would require ventilation and fire precautions which would entail very large extracts, possibly creating shipping hazards. Fire compartmentation and escape tunnels would be very difficult. the expense would require much higher tolls than ferry or Eurotunnel fares. It could therefore only be built as another vanity project for politicians.

    As the present tunnel is operating at under capacity and the roads in Europe and the UK are carrying huge amounts of freight by lorry , causing congestion and wear, it may be a much better investment to build freight terminals in the UK, Spain and Eastern Europe and carry refrigerated containers or other special types which fit lorries or rail wagons. Then take long trains across the continent going through the existing tunnel. Eddie Stobarts have had some success setting uprail freight already. Then we may not have to keep upgrading the motorways with dangerous daft smart lanes and signals.

    • stred
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      I forgot to add, the road tunnel would still require a large lorry and car park at the end where tolls would be paid and security checks made, looking for illegals and explosives. The saving in time would therefore be minimal.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 22, 2018 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

        Indeed doubtless we will require terrorist checks for HS2 too, so that the claimed saving of 10? minutes will become a delay of one hour or so.

  28. rick hamilton
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    There has been discussion of the long bridges constructed by China and Japan as examples of feasibility, but these are connecting their own islands and territories. Why is there never any discussion of a bridge or tunnel to Northern Ireland ?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      Well far more people travel between the the UK and Europe than do between the UK and Scotland (as that is were any bridge would surely be).

      So an NI/Scotland bridge would be even less sensible than an England/France one.

  29. James Matthews
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    The existing tunnel has helped our continental competitors far more than it helped us. In particular the security costs have, from our point of view, been far too great. Initiating serious discussion of any kind of extension of the link at a time when we should be concentrating on directing much more of our trading efforts beyond Europe seems either:
    (a) Preposterous, or
    (b) A deliberate attempt to sabotage a successful Brexit by draining of resources and tying our trade even more tightly to the EU.
    “Boris Island” had some merit. Boris Bridge is either hubristic, malign, or just plain daft (or any permutation thereof).
    Can we please now give the idea the lack of attention it deserves.

  30. a-tracy
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    “It is difficult to see the Channel tunnel keeping much of its shuttle business carrying lorries, if they were able to carry on driving to get to the UK.”

    I’m not sure I agree about this point, most tachograph/hgv drivers have to take rest breaks at set times and for set lengths of time and their limited driving hours make freight tunnels for lorries viable, you could also ban them using any bridge. Even small van drivers on the UK domestic driving hour rules need rest breaks and have a maximum drive time length which these 40mph and 50mph four-year + restricted speed limits on motorways is causing such a lot of problems for legitimate companies operating within the rules.

    “There are many other road projects we need in the UK that should take priority for limited sums of public capital.” Indeed there are! My suggestion would be connecting the M53 from the N Wales Coast and Holyhead to the M54 at Shrewsbury (EU funds should stump up for this too as it would seriously help out Ireland), then continue the M53 down to the M5 and draw some traffic away from Birmingham. We have a serious need to get from South to North West, Wales, West Scotland, without everything having to go through Birmingham.

  31. Richard Jenkins
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    For business and family reasons, I have since 1980 crossed the Channel between Dover and Calais several times each year. Until the Channel Tunnel opened, one could arrive at the Port of Dover and drive onto a ferry within a few minutes, even if that ferry were earlier than the one that had been booked. After the opening of the Tunnel, for obvious reasons, the frequency of the ferries reduced sharply, and one could normally only travel at the booked time. Although putting one’s car on a train through the tunnel was marginally quicker than the ferry, the journey was a lot less pleasant. For those of us who continued to use the ferries, the net effect of the £8 billion spent on the Tunnel, just to provide a rail link, was simply to reduce the utility of the ferries. I wonder what could have been done with the ferry service if a quarter of the money spent on the tunnel had been spent on ships and port facilities.

  32. bigneil
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Bridge or tunnel makes no difference – VERY costly and just another way for yet more freeloaders to get here and stick their hands out. We can’t even control who comes in now – -presumably with another connection to the mainland Border staff would be cut as more money would be needed to pay for yet more new arrivals idle, but very profitable for them, lives.
    If the govt think these people are going to work on arrival, they are just showing how out of touch with reality they are. Clearly we are to be bled dry financially, paying for these coming, then race replaced. Isn’t it about time you told us the timescale for the plan John?

  33. Know-Dice
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Boris could put one of his bicycle stands at the French end so that economic migrants can cycle across 🙁

  34. agricola
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    I think the speculation on bridges and tunnels over the last few days is just fantasy . It is “Who ate my hamster time.” Much more interesting was Macron on Marr on Sunday. While coming over as a bright and personable guy to have lunch with, he also espoused some interesting thoughts.

    He thought that France would quit the EU given a referendum, while inferring that it was far too complex a question to trust the French to answer. This suggests to me a democratic deficit and an arrogance within the French establishment that could spring out and bite them, as it did in the USA and UK.

    He also highlighted the difference in thought on Brexit between the European nation states and the EU. He thought that this would lead to a bespoke deal on trade with the UK. Providing this includes financial services it would be much as I expect. The EU would be foolish indeed to put their trade with the UK in jeopardy for purely face saving reasons. They have enough internal problems with the concept of the EU without increasing them where it hurts most.

  35. Kenneth
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I think we will have pilotless flying cars in 30 years so I can’t see much demand for it…of course I could be wrong….

  36. acorn
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Do we need a bridge, probably not. Do we as a nation want a bridge, is a much bigger question that hasn’t been asked.

    Do we need something to concentrate the nation’s current level of hate and anxiety on, that it might come to love and unite its peoples around, other than Brexit? (Just like Jeff Chandler did in the film, “Away All Boats”.)

    Does the private sector have the resources; that is, the men and materials available in sufficient quantities to build it, without inflating the UK price of both men and materials?

    The Treasury could deficit finance it at no cost; it always can. Its spending would be increasing the fiscal assets in the economy; subsequently increasing the spending power of households. That spending power would bounce around the economy, creating demand in other sectors of the economy.

    This is not just anti-austerity, this is Modern Money Theory anti-austerity! 😉

  37. Up North
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Boris should be given a Lego set. . This is a tiny island. The Channel is being used enough, so is the land. No room for bridges and extra roads here coping with increased traffic numbers per day. If you build roads, you would need them because of a bridge, facilities,. people will fill them. We are not America or Canada. The bridge makes more sense for Europeans.They do not have to live here. They chose to live here at the moment only.

  38. English Pensioner
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    A bridge would concentrate our road traffic even more in the south-east corner of the country requiring major road improvements in existing motorways. Far better to try to distribute the traffic so that it goes to other ports and encourage the use of the longer sea crossings.
    When we used to go by car to Germany and beyond for holidays, it was far better to go through Zeebruge or Cuxhaven and avoid the extra miles from Calais. For those up north, ferries from places like Hull also save the long drive south on our busy roads.
    I also suspect that the use of ferries would also be far greener which should should please the environmentalists.

  39. Ed Mahony
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Whilst Boris goes on about his bridge, Amazon is creating technology where there are no check-outs, revolutionising how we shop.

    The potential of the high tech industry is enormous. But i hear no Tories really talking or getting excited about it. As far back as 1990, The Israeli government set up a £100 million public hedge fund for promoting the high tech industry in Tel Aviv – Tel Aviv is now a key hub for the high tech industry in the world – the Israeli government and other governments policies on the high tech industries appear light years ahead of ours).

    Instead we get Boris going on about his bridge (whatever his political reasons for this are – who cares – he just makes Brand Britain looked daft and backward).

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      Boris is also beginning to really piss of a lot of Conservative voters (and potential Conservative voters). And i don’t just mean the young. Keep it up, and he just makes it more likely that Labour / Liberal Democrats will get into power and mess everything up even more.

  40. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    I see:

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/whitehall-s-online-rapid-response-unit-will-block-fake-news-bjjkv8sqp

    “Whitehall’s online rapid response unit will block fake news”

    “Theresa May is set to authorise the creation of a rapid response unit to stop fake news spreading online.

    The team, which will be based in the Cabinet Office, will be tasked with monitoring social media to identify and challenge disinformation. It follows a slew of false stories that were distributed on the internet even after they were shown to be false, many of which were damaging to the Conservative Party, the government or both.”

    They could start with the fake news promoted by the CBI, such as:

    http://www.cbi.org.uk/news/evidence-not-ideology-why-a-customs-union-is-best-for-britain/

    “Evidence not ideology: Why a customs union is best for Britain”

    This is from the same organisation which campaigned for the UK to join the euro:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/120407.stm

    “The Director General of the Confederation of British Industry, Adair Turner, has told business leaders not to be swayed by “ill-informed scare stories” and consider the benefits of the European Monetary Union.”

  41. David L
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    A bridge spanning Wokingham to carry through traffic would be a blessing. The town to remain until March at least…the centre will be devoid of businesses at this rate.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Indeed lots of little land bridges, overpasses and underpasses would be a far, far better investment. But politicians always prefer grand, white elephant, piss money down the drain projects.

  42. formula57
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    You make a sound case, but it seems unduly and inappropriately limited to a transport perspective with a focus on economic gain.

    Aside from loss of the economic boost from the multiplier effect, think of the misery for all the poor remoaners who will see a “no bridge” decision as evidence that Brexit means isolation. Beyond them, think of the French who would be deprived of a further example (to the splendid Millau Viaduct) of British engineering prowess. And if all that does not convince the naysayers, let them reflect in shame on their subliminal racism in denying the world’s economic migrants and bogus asylum seekers a further means of ingress to the UK!

    Once again, the people’s Blue Boris is at the cutting edge of progress and displays a mental agility sadly lacking in many of his cabinet colleagues.

    • stred
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      Actually a brilliant French engineer Michel Virogleux ( approx) designed the Millau viaduct and because the usual whingers didn’t like it, they had a new competition which Fosters entered, adopting the original french design and tweakink it a bit, with a slight horizontal curve and splitting the columns at the top. This won and then they worked in partnership, with the build finished dearly and without accidents.
      https://www.designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/The_Millau_Viaduct

      There was a brilliant documentary on Ch 5 recently.

      • stred
        Posted January 22, 2018 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        finished early not dearly.

  43. David L
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    “…town chaos to remain..” (apologies.)

    • alan jutson
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      David

      “Wokingham Town Centre”.

      I think you will find it is going to go on a lot, lot longer than March from recent info.

      Sure it will all look fine in the end, but all the shopkeepers (other than the National brands) will have all probably gone bust and left by then.

      Quite shameful how Wokingham Council have treated local businesses and the Community as a whole in recent years.

  44. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, I have not always agreed with Wolfgang Munchau in the FT, but I reckon he’s got it about right with this article:

    https://www.ft.com/content/fb912228-fd32-11e7-a492-2c9be7f3120a

    “Brexit ‘Revocateurs’ are wrong to put faith in another referendum”

    “There is only one type of question that is not a repeat of the 2016 referendum, and which has clear yes and no answers: “Do you accept the withdrawal agreement?” If the answer is yes, parliament would ratify the deal and the UK would leave. If no, the UK would still leave — but without a deal. This is clearly not what the second referendum advocates are after.

    There exists no question that is internally consistent, not asked already and that would keep the UK in the EU. The impossibility of coming up with a good question in itself already demonstrates the idea’s absurdity.

    Advocates of a second referendum also make an implicit, but wrong assumption that the UK can revoke the Article 50 process unilaterally. People are, of course, entitled to their private legal opinions. But you should at least be aware that the European Commission does not see it that way. Nor does the European Council. Nor does the European Parliament.

    Think for a moment how the European Court of Justice would view this. The court would consider the broader implications of its decision. If it ruled in favour of the UK, member states would be free to invoke Article 50 for political blackmail, and without risk.

    The EU did, of course, say that it would welcome a change of heart by the UK. But make no mistake: the EU would negotiate and seek to impose conditions to protect its interests. They would negotiate just as hard undoing Brexit as during the negotiations to complete it.

    For starters, the EU would want to do away with the British rebate. It would also seek guarantees that the UK would not trigger Brexit again for a number of years.”

    And my expectation is that the further we had got with an increasingly fraught process of negotiation for our exit the higher the price the EU would wish to extract if we then said that we had changed our minds.

    • ian wragg
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Well said Denis, some time back on ConHome I made the point that the remoaners want a second referendum with the questions
      a) Do you accept the deal
      b) Should we remain in the EU
      The obvious outcome of this is that the EU offers the worst possible deal and then the scenario you paint comes into play.

    • alan jutson
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      Dennis

      Should we ever give up and want to re-join

      They may even make Article 50 redundant, and put in article 51 with even more complications for anyone wishing to leave in the future.

      As you say any second referendum does happen on the result of the negotiations, it should be agree to what has been agreed, or leave on WTO terms.

      No point in sending our team back in to try to get more, or else we will return, as no incentive for them to give us anything.

      They will soon make contact with us if we were to leave on WTO terms, unless of course they would be happy to allow hundreds of thousands of Europeans to be put out of work.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      We would also have to join the EURO. Something just about everyone, except the real Europhiles, would oppose. This needs to be made clear.

  45. Iain Gill
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    I took it to be Boris trying to do a mini Kennedy, ie “within this decade we will land a man on the moon”, the other example being the building of the Hoover dam, and sometimes that’s probably a good thing for a politician to do. Certainly he is flying a kite to see if it sparks the imagination. (Brown did it with the aircraft carriers, ordered principally to bring work to some areas that badly needed it).

    It doesn’t spark my imagination. We need something that includes other parts of the country remote from any such bridge much more.

    On the other hand I think that Eurostar is such a worthwhile thing, like the sleeper trains to Scotland, that if straightforward commercial sums don’t add up then they deserve public support. And I don’t say thing lightly, as I argue against state spending in almost all cases, and certainly would bring state spending down massively if I was running the country.

    Anyway Ms May seems to be just coasting along, without any idea what she is there to deliver, her brief dribble about helping “the just about managing” seems to have died a death, and other than simply keeping the Conservatives in power nobody else seems to have a clue what this government is about. It is certainly not rolling back the state and handing more power to the individuals like it should be. It is certainly not delivering on the key issues at the forefront of everyones mind, such as immigration.

    We seem to have a zombie government. Only there because the opposition are so bad.

  46. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Off topic, if this is true, what is the point of wasting time and energy on trying to negotiate a “deep and special” trade deal with the EU when in overall economic terms it would be very little better, and quite possibly worse, than reverting to basic WTO terms?

    https://openeurope.org.uk/daily-shakeup/uk-bespoke-arrangement-full-single-market-access-free-trade-deal-macron/?utm_source=Open+Europe&utm_campaign=a5256a50ff-RSS_Campaign_Daily_Shakeup&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c045172cb6-a5256a50ff-262466097#section-1

    “The Times reports that European Council President, Donald Tusk, is drawing up a negotiating strategy to incentivise the UK not to leave the EU single market and customs union. According to The Times, under this plan the EU would reject proposals for a bespoke sectoral deal when trade negotiations begin, and would insist that leaving the EU customs union and single market will mean the UK can only benefit from a limited trade deal. EU negotiators reportedly believe this could increase pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May to opt to remain close to the EU, and in particular believe there is no parliamentary deal to pull out of customs arrangements. The Times also reports that Chancellor Philip Hammond and Business Secretary Greg Clark back a rethink of the government’s position on leaving the customs union. However, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said yesterday, “The prime minister was clear in her Florence speech we are leaving…Staying in the customs union means effectively staying in the EU.””

    Once it is clearly understood that contrary to decades of false Remain propaganda the overall economic effects of the EU Single Market have been only marginal, at the level of 1% or maybe 2% of GDP, it becomes obvious that it will make little long term difference whether we or not have a special trade deal with the continuing EU, and it will make even less difference whether we had one variant or a rather different variant.

    It is certainly worthwhile putting in the diplomatic effort to ensure a smooth transition, but it is simply not worth the time and energy and prolonged uncertainty which will be associated with a futile search for slight nuances to differentiate the deal from a straight and simple reversion to basic WTO terms.

    After all, to quote Labour’s Emily Thornberry:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/14011801.pdf

    “… we have been trading perfectly successfully with the United States for a very long time, they are our biggest trading partner outside the EU without a trading deal anyway.”

  47. Andy
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Great countries demonstrate (and compounded) their greatness by building infrastructure.

    The Romans became preeminent by building roads and cities.

    Britain became preeminent by building canals, factories and railways.

    America became preeminent by building motorways, airports and power stations.

    China is becoming preeminent by building futuristic cities and high speed rail.

    Continental Europe, the Middle East, Africa are all on an infrastructure spending boom.

    Vast bridges, roads, tunnels, airports a symbol of the future.

    Little Brexit Britain will be left behind AGAIN with our Victorian trains and clogged roads.

    It is the same people 17.4m who voted to take us back 50 years who are refusing to invest in the next 50 years.

    Time for some major asset stripping from the wealth hoarding pensioners methinks.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      In fairness to Boris, the Garden Bridge wasn’t a bad idea. Although instead of just having a garden, they could also had a beautiful, Berne-like Clock Tower, and beautiful, Queen-Anne style buildings on the bridge like the Ponte Vecchio (although medieval buildings).

      Dante loved Florence, partly because of its beautiful architecture. Beauty isn’t just good for the soul, it’s also good for patriotism, and good for the economy. The bridge might not have paid for itself, but it would have had socio-economic benefits easily justifying public money. The Garden Bridge could have become a new focal point for Londoners and tourists, as well as making the city even more attractive for people who want to live and work and invest here – because the aesthetic value of a place is one of a few key consideration why people choose to live and work and invest in a place (one important reason that holds Frankfurt back is that some people just find it too boring to go and live there).

      What would the bridge have cost? Relatively little considering the socio-economic returns, and returns in increased patriotism (and every politician should want to leave something of beauty behind them, for future generation to enjoy, before shuffling off this mortal coil).

      The Garden Bridge is still not too late.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted January 22, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        ‘easily justifying public money’ – some public money, the rest private.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted January 22, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

          Cost of Garden Bridge: £250 million (compare that to Boris Channel Bridge – £120 billion when there is no capacity demand for it …).

          – If the design was beautiful enough (a garden isn’t enough although a good start), I bet you’d even get millions coming in as donations, people wanting to leave something of real beauty behind before they die.

          – The private sector could certainly make money out of it.

          – And London and the country would benefit (socio-ecomic + patriotism) easily make it worthwhile for the public sector to invest.

      • a-tracy
        Posted January 23, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        I agree Ed, I think a working bridge with beautiful buildings selling the best produce (a Hogwarts olde English, or traditional styling built completely modern with all of the latest technologies in heating, lighting to use as a world showcase, would rival Bond Street and if they built it with a cycle route underneath give a green boost.

    • John
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      So in 2025 when we have pilotless drones and a general movement away from importing what we can produce and grow here, you think spending 100s billions building a road is a good idea.

      You are out of date. The infrastructure today is made of metal, ceramics, semi conductors. Not concrete.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      “Time for some major asset stripping from the wealth hoarding pensioners methinks.”

      Fine if it’s declared openly in a manifesto and not a hidden policy against the prudent, like all main parties… and the EU.

      • Anonymous
        Posted January 22, 2018 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        Slavery was reintroduced back in to Britain via the EU – in common with the Roman Empire.

        • Anonymous
          Posted January 22, 2018 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

          QE and Brownian reforms did for private pensions in the UK so older people moved into property as a result.

          Public pensions now need to be hammered hard. It cannot be that a private sector worker is unable to afford his own pension whilst paying for a policeman/teacher to retire on £20k a year with a £150k lump sum aged a mere 50.

  48. Chris S
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Almost universal agreement that it’s a no to the idea of a road bridge which, in any event, would be a road bridge at either end with a tunnel between two artificial islands maybe five miles apart.

    As everyone knows we are desperately short of new roads in the UK : Top of the list has to be a proper motorway from Dover to Exeter and on to Plymouth and a replacement for the hated A9 in Scotland with it’s Big Brother-like continuous speed camera coverage.

    There are so many more projects needed as well.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      Indeed the M25 need to be at least double (two decks perhaps) as does much of the M1, M3, M4, M6 …. the capacity needs to double so the average speed can be rather more than 10-20 mph at peak times!

      • hefner
        Posted January 23, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        Practically all of the South part of the M25 (between M4 and M26) is four lanes in both directions. So what is the clever idea, double to eight lanes each way, or four on top of four? Good luck with the works to get to any of those results: where and how will you get the ground to do an extension to eight lanes? Who is supposed to pay? Second, given that making the bit of the M3 (about 8 miles, between Bagshot and the M25) a so-called “smart” motorway took a bit more than two years and a half, during which we had extensive slowing down of traffic every week day at morning and evening peak times, and a limit at 50 mph the rest of the day, I would consider your proposal as brilliantly thought about as Boris’s bridge one. You might want to join his fan club.

    • Andy
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      The Tories tell you it is either this project or that project. The Chinese can manage to do ALL the project and the grow faster as a consequence.

      We need a clear out of Westminster. These people have failed our country for decades.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 23, 2018 at 3:42 am | Permalink

        The have cheap energy too.

  49. Anonymous
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    An idiotic idea at every level. It will bring Corbyn.

    • Prigger
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      “It will bring Corbyn.” If so let us pray the advent of Corbyn is across the bridge that is now across the Channel. He wears the right sandals, he talks the talk , now for him to walk the walk. 🙂

  50. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just seen an MP pretending that we are a net exporter of cars to the EU and it would have a seismic impact on our car industry if there were 10% tariffs, which apparently would only apply to our exports of cars to the rest of the EU and not to the much larger volume of cars we presently import from the rest of the EU. Our car industry is quite good at exporting its products, but to the rest of the world outside the EU not to the rest of the EU. Again and again unscrupulous supporters of the EU deliberately distort statistical data to exaggerate its economic benefits when in reality its overall economic effects have been and are marginal. That is not to suggest that it would be sensible to make sudden abrupt changes to the present arrangements, on the contrary it is necessary to ensure a smooth transition; but acknowledging the usual need for transitional provisions is not the same as saying that nothing should change, as now appears to be the government’s plan with an unlimited period of oxymoronic “status quo” or “standstill” transition.

  51. John
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    We are going through potentially some big changes and maybe positive.

    Less freight imports due to more home production?
    Introduction of autonomous transport increasing capacity
    Introduction of electric people transport drones

    There is also a developing movement back towards less polluting and damaging methods generally such as repelling against non recycle plastic, who knows where this will be in 5 years. Will we repel against importing millions of tonnes across the European Continent to the UK?

    If this is the start of a real ‘Green’ movement then it won’t involve importing things like zips from China over a Channel road bridge if people reject the idea of importing from China. A place where people are dying of diseases caused by pollution from unregulated industrial plants, transporting their produce 100os miles across the globe in diesel powered ships.

    We need to focus on home production to save the environment.

  52. DaveM
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Has anyone actually asked an engineer the feasibility of building a bridge over the world’s busiest shipping lane? Or is this – like usual – politicians living in a dream world and thinking you can build it with electronic money?

    Great cartoon in the Sun today btw, and a comment by Kavanagh that May the Hopeless should read.

    • DaveM
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      Ps. The capcha asked for bridges. Ha ha.

  53. Edward2
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Presumably half way across the bridge, driving your car towards France, you would have to switch from the left hand side to the right hand side.
    Could cause a few problems……

  54. Prigger
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Germany had not got a government for four months. No-one noticed. Rejoicing in Germany as the guy with the beard who was an EU leader is now holding talks with Mrs Merkel’s Party about a coalition which they had before the election months ago. Still lots of talking until they agree to carry on just as before…owning most of Europe.

  55. FrankW
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    President Macron has said it again..there will be no bespoke deal agreement allowed without all of the boxes being ticked..none of this can be reconciled with UK’s red lines..therefore there is no point in talking about transition..for after all transition to where?likewise there is no point in discussing Boris’s bridge..a bridge to where..and we’re not even in the silly season

  56. Weelly
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Two gigantic American firms servicing the oil sector have made equally gigantic profits in North America and elsewhere except Corbyn’s “Beacon to the world” Venezuela where one of those companies disclosed last week a $938 million write-down on its Venezuelan assets and receivables. The other company a fourth-quarter charge of $385 million for its operations in Venezuela.
    Only Corbynista Socialism could nationalise a whole country which should have been called Oil Land due to the immensity of its oil reserves and in a market where oil in rising to the heights but nevertheless FAIL except in wheelie bin rotten food takeaways.
    The prospect of a Corbyn government is frightening. How will we know which wheelie bin to rifle for Sunday dinner?????

  57. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just been watching the news showing the state of our A&E Dept’s and lack of hospital beds. An 83 year old woman who was in agony had to wait for over an hour in the corridor with many other patients to be seen. I cannot find the clean language to describe my anger at what is becoming a disaster in what is supposed to be the fifth richest economy. Why the hell does our government think its OK to send so much of our money abroad? How bad do things have to get before politicians stop playing political games and get on top of the problems facing ordinary people? And you’re talking about tunnels and bridges??!!

    • graham1946
      Posted January 23, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      How bad does it have to get to stop political games? A more accurate question might be how bad does it have to get before they can privatise it in full? It all seems to be part of a plan – it cannot surely be down to plain incompetence.

      We had a re-organisation at a cost of 3 billion by Andrew Lansley which has been an unmitigated disaster. It seems he was left to get on with it because no-one else had any interest or understanding of it. If he was so clever why is he not Health Minister? The government even tried to stop publication of his diaries and notes about it all. Now they don’t want to put any more money in in case it is seen as a success for Boris and Brexit. Tells you all you need to know about the Tories and the NHS.

  58. mancunius
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    And what about our island security??

    As Shakespeare might have written:
    “This precious stone set in the silver sea
    Which serves it in the office of a wa
    (But with a b***die great enormous hole
    Allowing all and sundry to pop in)
    Or as a moat defensive to a house
    (But with its gate agape: mottes, pallisades
    All razed; portcullis permanently up,
    And e’en the drawbridge welcomingly laid down
    Permitting access straight across the moat
    To all who most detest our sov’reign realm…)

    • mancunius
      Posted January 22, 2018 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

      “office of a wall”, of course.

  59. Moat
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Fake Sky News has mathematicians at work. Commenting on our Defence Dept wishing more money, it justified an increase on the basis that the UK spends 2% of its GDP on Defence and Russia spends 5.3% of it own GDP on Defence.
    2016 UK GDP was 2.619 Trillion USD
    2016 Rus GDP was 1.283 Trillion USD

    Of course there are the 2%s of GDPs of each of the following NATO countries to consider Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.

    So, our Defence Department should be given a whistle

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