The general public is against former foreign secretary Boris Johnson’s plan to build two bridges connecting the UK to mainland Europe.
A report from public sector procurement specialists Scape Group reveals that the British public are against the bridge proposals linking Scotland with Ireland and England to France.
Instead, the public wants to see greater funding for metro schemes across the entire country.
75% of those surveyed back calls for modest metro systems in UK cities outside of London. While 58% of respondents also said that the two bridge projects proposed by Johnson fare nothing more than “vanity projects” and will fail to add any real value to the economy.
In 2018, then foreign secretary Boris Johnson proposed a bridge linking Scotland and Ireland, as well as a 54km bridge over the English channel to link the United Kingdom to mainland Europe. Johnson estimated the combined cost of the projects to be £34bn.
However, University of Liverpool professor of architecture Alan Dunlop estimated the cost to be closer to £140bn, owing to extreme weather conditions and the volume of cargo traffic in the English channel adding complexity to the design and construction of a crossing.
Scape Group chief executive Mark Robinson said that public wanted more practical projects that will help the economy.
“While the general public have not embraced the recent ideas proposed by Mr Johnson, encouragingly they do support targeted investment in less glamorous developments that will deliver economic benefits. And well they might,” he said. “Poor transport infrastructure is hampering our productivity – road congestion alone costs our economy £9 billion a year. Infrastructure is vital to the effective and efficient functioning of society. Investing in underground systems across the UK would be an effective way of creating a productive and functioning workforce.”
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