Bridge between Britain and France proposed


Blackleaf
#1
Boris Johnson has raised the prospect of a bridge across the English Channel after top-level talks between the UK and France.

The Foreign Secretary said ‘good connections’ were important to the relationship between the two countries and wondered whether the Channel Tunnel should merely be regarded as ‘a first step’.

Mr Johnson said the UK-France summit, attended by French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Theresa May, had agreed to establish a panel of experts to look at major projects.

Boris Johnson wants a bridge over the English Channel connecting UK and France


Richard Hartley-Parkinson
Friday 19 Jan 2018
Metro


British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron give thumbs-up during Macron's visit to Britain this week

Boris Johnson has raised the prospect of a bridge across the English Channel after top-level talks between the UK and France.

The Foreign Secretary said ‘good connections’ were important to the relationship between the two countries and wondered whether the Channel Tunnel should merely be regarded as ‘a first step’.

Mr Johnson said the UK-France summit, attended by French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Theresa May, had agreed to establish a panel of experts to look at major projects.

The Foreign Secretary is understood to want a new fixed link between the UK and France and believes ‘it’s crazy that two of the biggest economies in the world are connected by one railway line when they are only 20 miles apart’.


He said it’s crazy that two of the largest economies are only connected by one railway line (Picture: Getty)


Macron is said to be enthusiastic about the idea (Stefan Rousseau/Pool via AP)

Sources close to Mr Johnson said the French President was enthusiastic about the idea.

A joint declaration after the summit at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, said: ‘The United Kingdom and France have a long history of collaboration in delivering cutting-edge technologies.

‘Whether pioneering supersonic travel or better connecting our countries through the Channel Tunnel, cooperation between our nations has produced radical innovation.

‘We will continue to partner to invest in the technologies of tomorrow, including through a joint scheme, supported by up to 100,000 euro (£88,000) per year, to support academic exchanges, scientific collaboration, and innovation. ‘

The communique added: ‘As we look to the future of our relationship through the 21st Century, we have agreed to establish a joint group of eminent and qualified persons to examine other options for future cooperation, including for significant projects.’


French President Emmanuel Macron held talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst this week

Boris Johnson wants a bridge over the English Channel connecting UK and France | Metro News
Last edited by Blackleaf; Jan 20th, 2018 at 05:25 AM..
 
Curious Cdn
#2
Make it a drawbridge so that you can haul it up every time you run a referendum.
 
Blackleaf
#3


It'd be cheaper to move France closer to England!' Boris is ridiculed for his Channel Bridge vision - but engineers insist it COULD be done and point to rejected 80s plans for spectacular project

Boris Johnson understood to have offered idea of a second Channel crossing - at more than 20 miles in length

He is understood to have put forward the idea to France's PM in meetings at Sandhurst Military Academy

Despite criticism, Boris was today backed by a designer who said it would be possible to construct a crossing

Indeed, officials previously considered a similar proposal for a bridge - at a cost of up to £14bn in today's money - before the tunnel was built in the 1980s

By Tim Sculthorpe, Deputy Political Editor and Scott Campbell For Mailonline
20 January 2018

Boris Johnson today faced ridicule from critics over his vision for a new bridge across the English Channel - but other experts point out such a project is technically possible and has been considered before as an alternative to the Channel Tunnel.

The Foreign Secretary put forward the idea of a second Channel crossing in meetings at Sandhurst Military Academy with French President Emmanuel Macron yesterday. If built, the structure would become Europe's longest bridge at 22 miles in length.

Today he faced scorn from experts who branded it a ridiculously expensive 'fantasy' project that would block the world's busiest shipping lanes.

+
Spectacular vision: Boris Johnson has been mocked for proposing a bridge across the Channel. However the 1980s EuroRoute project, seen in an artist's impression,envisaged a part-tunnel, part bridge crossing at a cost of £12bn

Rival project: Eurolink, a rival plan proposed in the 1980s, envisaged a 22-mile long bridge at a cost of $14bn This artist's impression from 1985 shows the proposal


Boris Johnson raised the prospect of building a bridge or road tunnel between Britain and France during yesterday's crunch summit with Emmanuel Macron

A similar project called Euroroute that was proposed in the 1980s would have taken drivers through the white cliffs of Dover and onto a spectacular bridge across the channel at a cost of £14bn, adjusted for inflation.

But some engineers, including a vice president at the Institution of Structural Engineers,have backed Johnson and insisted that such a project is entirely possible given the advances in technology over the course of 40 years.

They accused the naysayers of a 'lack of vision' - indeed the world's longest bridge in China crosses a body of water 103 miles wide and similar projects are underway.

Europe's longest bridge is the Vasco da Gama Bridge which is 11 miles long.

This graphic shows the different proposals for a link between Britain and mainland Europe. The Eurobridge would cost £14bn in today's money while the Euroroute would cost £12bn




These concept images from the original proposal for the Euro Route are taken from a booklet produced in the 1980s


The first idea for a cross-channel tunnel between England and France was conceived in 1802 - here is a sketch showing the design, complete with chimneys to the surface for oxygen





Eurotunnel wants to be involved if Boris bridge to France goes ahead

Eurotunnel has said it is 'right to be thinking about' building a new English Channel crossing and would want to be involved if the plans floated by Boris Johnson went ahead.

The Foreign Secretary's idea was 'very interesting', corporate affairs director John Keefe said.

Current Channel Tunnel traffic only runs at about 54 per cent of total capacity but the company has the rights to build any second crossing until 2086.

Mr Keefe said it would be 'decades' before the extra capacity was needed but fluctuating growth rates and changes in technology made it difficult to be more precise.

He said: 'It's certainly right to be thinking about it and it's something we consider on a regular basis. We look at the forecasts and we look at where we see traffic growth going and when we have got a stable period ahead of us then we can plan and predict.'

He added: 'It's a very interesting idea. We want to be involved if it gets developed, as it gets developed, but we think there is still a bit of growth to do first before it becomes necessary.
'If the economic, political and financial conditions were all favourable we would have first dibs on whether to do it or not. If the conditions are right, we want to be there.'

In the 1980s two alternatives to the Channel Tunnel were proposed - known as EuroRoute and EuroLink.

Euroroute was a part-bridge part-tunnel crossing that came in at a proposed cost of £6bn - £14bn today.

A rival plan known as EuroLink envisaged a three lane bridge across the channel between 15 piers.

When the idea was originally proposed, the idea of having a road tunnel spanning the Channel was not popular because of fears over emissions, so a consortium of British industrial giants suggested dividing the crossing into three stages.

EuroRoute would have had a central tunnel with two bridges of three miles each at either side linking to the mainland.

The plan was valued at around £6bn and had secured funding by the planning deadline.

But ultimately the contract was awarded to another bid leading to the construction of the Channel Tunnel as it is known today.

The £9billion project took six years to complete and eventually opened in 1994 linking Folkestone with Coquelles near Calais.

In a separate proposal, engineers suggested building a motorway toll bridge between England and France five years before the tunnel was built.

Drivers would have been charged £5.60 to drive across the 21-mile structure which would have linked Britain to mainland Europe.

It was hoped that toll charges would bring in as much as £220million per year after the £3bn construction cost.

The bridge would have been held up by enormous pylons planted in the water - built strong enough to stand a boat accidentally crashing into one of the struts.

Speaking today, Ian Firth, senior vice president at the Institution of Structural Engineers, said building such a bridge was 'entirely feasible'.

The world's longest bridges (...and Britain doesn't even make the top 100!)

1. Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge

This Chinese bridge is 102.4 miles long - making it the world's longest bridge. It hosts the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway. Its construction took four years, employing 10,000 people, and cost more than £6billion.



2. Changhua-Kaohsiung Viaduct

Over 200million passengers have used this Taiwanese rail link since it was opened in 2007. It is 97.8 miles in length and is built across numerous viaducts in a bid to avert earthquake damage.

3. Tianjin Grand Bridge

Another entrant in the top 10 from China, the Tianjin Grand Bridge carries the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway. It is 70.6 miles long and was completed in 2010 - before being opened one year later.



4. Cangde Grand Bridge

The Cangde Grand Bridge has been designed to withstand earthquakes and sits on more than 3,000 piers along its 65-mile length.

5. Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge

Not only does this bridge cross the Wei River twice during its 49.5-mile journey, but it also offers scenic views of many other rivers.

When it was completed in 2008 it was the longest bridge in the world - but it was quickly surpassed by the previous contenders.

6. Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge

This 34-mile link was in the works for years - but was left mired in controversy following a series of worker deaths and injuries. During construction, there were 10 fatalities on the Hong Kong stretch with as many as 600 hurt. One politician even branded it the 'bridge of blood and tears' - and 21 employees at a contractor were eventually arrested on safety charges.



56. Europe's longest bridge - Portugal's Vasco da Gama

This 7.6-mile bridge spans the Tagus River in Portugal's capital Lisbon. It carries six road lanes, each with a speed limit of 75mph - except one section which is limited 60mph.

119. Britain's longest bridge - Birmingham's Bromford Viaduct


Trailing far behind its Asian cousins, the Bromford Viaduct is a paltry 3.5miles long, carrying the M6 motorway between Castle Bromwich and Gravelly Hill in Birmingham. It is just a quarter of a mile longer than the Second Severn Crossing.


Mr Johnson went onto an official reception at the V&A Museum following the formal talks and was pictured sipping champagne

Boris is understood to have told aides: 'They are two of the world's biggest economies and they are linked by a single railway. It is ridiculous.'

Mr Dunlop said: 'After the Garden Bridge debacle, where Boris Johnson as mayor of London apparently disregarded planning rules, spent £60 million of public cash and a further £37 million was wasted, you would think he would stay clear of building any more bridges. Any sensible person would.'

He said it would be difficult because 'it's [one of the] world's busiest shipping lanes. Is that not enough? It would be easier, and less expensive to just move France closer.


The UK Chamber of Shipping warned today that a bridge would pose 'challenges' to the busiest shipping lane on the planet

But engineer Ian Firth said a bridge across the Channel was 'feasible' and was a 'serious contender' when the Channel Tunnel was being planned

'It's a pity about Carillion. If only they'd held out a bit longer the bridge could have been just right for them, another fantasy project to boost possible earnings and future final account projections.'

The UK Chamber of Shipping said: 'Building a huge concrete structure in the middle of the world's busiest shipping lane might come with some challenges.'

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage tweeted: 'Dangerous for container ships and useless when the wind blows (which is often)!'

According to reports, Emmanuel Macron was positive about Mr Johnson’s suggestion, saying: ‘I agree, let’s do it.’

But last night an aide pointed out that the Channel Tunnel was running at only 55 per cent capacity. A source close to the French president told the Financial Times: ‘Before building a bridge, let’s use the tunnel.’

But Mr Frith insisted it was technically feasible as an idea today.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'It has been looked at before. Before the tunnel was built there were bridge options being looked at and of course it is doable.'

Mr Johnson has backed a bridge project before, promoting the ill-fated Garden Bridge across the Thames. The project was scrapped as a waste of money

As Mayor, Mr Johnson also promoted the idea of closing Heathrow and replacing it with a brand new four-runway airport in the middle of the Thames estuary

He added: 'There is no real issue particularly nowadays with modern technologies. We can design relatively long spans.

'This would be a multiple span structure. This has not got to be one big span of course.

'The economics may lean towards something like getting on for a kilometre spans or something, 800 metre to a kilometre span, that sort of size I would imagine. Multiple spans.

'It would be a huge undertaking but it would be absolutely possible and the shipping impact issues could be dealt with.'

Winston Churchill's grandson, Tory backbencher Nicholas Soames, told The Sun: 'It's an absolutely excellent idea.'

David Knight of the Institution of Structural Engineers said: 'It technically feasible but would be extremely expensive.'

Mr Johnson is understood to have told aides: 'They are two of the world's biggest economies and they are linked by a single railway (the Channel Tunnel, pictured). It is ridiculous'



Mr Johnson joined the Prime Minister and French president Emmanuel Macron at the summit yesterday, along with other Cabinet members.

Last year it was claimed the Foreign Secretary had plotted a multi-billion-pound highway to show the EU the UK was not giving up on Europe despite quitting the bloc.

Mr Johnson was said to have abandoned the idea after being talked out of it by his aide Will Walden.

It was reported that in private conversations at the 2016 Tory Party conference in Birmingham, Mr Johnson said: 'If you wanted to show your commitment to Europe, is it not time for us to have further and better economic integration with a road tunnel? That's what we need.' Mr Johnson claimed such a plan had been ruled out in the 1980s, but he added: 'That's all changed.

'They now have the technology. You could come out of the EU but join Europe in the most fundamental way.'

He was said to have claimed that the move would be 'a great symbol of European commitment'.

Last year it was claimed the Foreign Secretary had plotted a multi-billion-pound highway to show the EU the UK was not giving up on Europe despite quitting the EU

It's not the first ambitious building project Mr Johnson has proposed – in 2013, while mayor of London, he suggested building a four-runway airport on an artificial island in the Thames estuary in a bid to ease growing pressure on Heathrow airport.

The project would have cost £47.3billion, but the plans were scrapped in 2014 by the Airports Commission.

Despite his idea's failure, Mr Johnson published a report in 2016 re-introducing plans for the airport, which was nicknamed 'Boris Island'.

In 2012, Mr Johnson launched the £60million Emirates Air Line cable car over The Thames, which he hoped would be used by commuters – but, in its first year, just 16 passengers were regular users of the service.

Read more: Boris Johnson is ridiculed over vision for Channel bridge | Daily Mail Online
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
Last edited by Blackleaf; Jan 20th, 2018 at 07:06 AM..
 
Curious Cdn
#4
Better get the Germans and Dutch to build it.
 
Blackleaf
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by Curious Cdn View Post

Better get the Germans and Dutch to build it.

The British and French will build it and the British, no doubt, will pay for it. The French tend not to pay for anything.
 
Curious Cdn
#6
You'd better disinter Brunel and put a million volts through him.

Carillion is dead, you know.
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
+1
#7  Top Rated Post
At what point do the vehicles crash head on because the British would be on the wrong side of the road?
 
Curious Cdn
#8
If a shit-box British car breaks down 2/3rds of the way toward France and a shit-box French car breaks down 2/3rds of the way towards England, where do they get towed to?

(This is for marks)
 
Blackleaf
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by Curious Cdn View Post

You'd better disinter Brunel and put a million volts through him.

Carillion is dead, you know.

Carillion didn't build the Chunnel. TransManche Link built that.
 
Curious Cdn
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by Blackleaf View Post

Carillion didn't build the Chunnel. TransManche Link built that.

Are they still in business?
 
Blackleaf
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiing View Post

At what point do the vehicles crash head on because the British would be on the wrong side of the road?

From the British point of view, it would be the French and other foreigners on the wrong side of the road.

Quote: Originally Posted by Curious Cdn View Post

Are they still in business?

They were an Anglo-Frog consortium set up especially to build the Channel Tunnel.
 
Curious Cdn
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by Blackleaf View Post

From the British point of view, it would be the French and other foreigners on the wrong side of the road.



They were an Anglo-Frog consortium set up especially to build the Channel Tunnel.

Naturally. You can drive all over the Continent from there honking your horn and bowling other drivers off of their roads because ... well ... it's the British way.
 
Blackleaf
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by Curious Cdn View Post

Naturally. You can drive all over the Continent from there honking your horn and bowling other drivers off of their roads because ... well ... it's the British way.

Well it would be revenge on all those French and other Continental drivers driving abominably on British roads.
 
Curious Cdn
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by Blackleaf View Post

Well it would be revenge on all those French and other Continental drivers driving abominably on British roads.

Is that what the "A" in A-road stands for? Abominable?
 
Blackleaf
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by Curious Cdn View Post

Is that what the "A" in A-road stands for? Abominable?

No. It's because they are more important than B-roads, but less important than motorways (M-roads).
 
Curious Cdn
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by Blackleaf View Post

No. It's because they are more important than B-roads, but less important than motorways (M-roads).

Oh, hey! THAT makes sense! M>A>B.
 
Blackleaf
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by Curious Cdn View Post

Oh, hey! THAT makes sense! M>A>B.

Well what letter would you choose to represent a motorway?
 
taxslave
+1
#18
You think there is a problem with immigrants now just wait until the bridge is built.
 
Curious Cdn
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by Blackleaf View Post

Well what letter would you choose to represent a motorway?

We use numbers.
 
Blackleaf
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslave View Post

You think there is a problem with immigrants now just wait until the bridge is built.

Yep.
 
Curious Cdn
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by avro24 View Post

Can't you just build a giant tardis to move people and goods across?

But! ... But! ... The Doctor's a WOMAN now and you know the way that we feel about women!
 
Hoid
#22
Didn't our resident scientists declare a bridge to Vancouver Island a possibility? Only twice as far and three times deeper than this widely ridiculed plan.
 
Blackleaf
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by Hoid View Post

Didn't our resident scientists declare a bridge to Vancouver Island a possibility? Only twice as far and three times deeper than this widely ridiculed plan.

Vancouver Island is much closer to the mainland than Britain is to France.
 
Curious Cdn
#24
The waters between are deeper and it is in a MAJOR earthquake zone.
 

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