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Alistair Lenczner's letter (NCE 19 June) stated 'I have yet to see any specific proposals for transportation links that might be incorporated as part of the barrage project (maximising potential)'.

Such proposals were indeed put to the government in the 1980s by a group of contractors and consultants.

The barrage, topped by a motorway, was located at the English Shoots/Stones area of the river, where most of the rocky bed is exposed at low water and the deeper central channel is only 500m wide.

One interesting aspect was the barrage lock required for the occasional shipping serving upstream Sharpness and Lydney.

It was proposed that parallel bascule bridges located at each end of the lock should be connected to local lengths of dualled and separated motorway.

This allowed uninterrupted traffic operation using computer controlled motorway switching during ship passage. In the event, although the proposal was turned down by government, it shortly led to the second Severn bridge on the same route, completed in 1996 for £330M.

- BRIAN PRITCHARD (F), 44 Denmans Lane, Lindfield, West Sussex RH16 2JR

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