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Boris’s bridge, London, United Kingdom

Friday 19 Jan 2018

UK foreign secretary wants a ‘Boris Bridge’ to France

Boris’s bridge by WAN Editorial in London, United Kingdom
The Straits of Dover between the UK and France - Image credit - Johnson Space Center of the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)  
Boris’s bridge by WAN Editorial in London, United Kingdom
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Boris Johnson’s latest controversial infrastructure project would see an above the water link established between the UK and France  

The UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson has proposed a 22 mile bridge to connect the UK to France and mainland Europe. The idea was first raised at a Anglo-French summit that was called to discuss the UK’s exit from the European Union and immigration. Johnson subsequently tweeted "Our economic success depends on good infrastructure and good connections. Should the Channel Tunnel be just a first step?"

French president Emmanuel Macron agreed with the controversial idea, saying "let's do it". If it were constructed the bridge would be one of the longest in the world and would cross the world’s busiest shipping lane.

The idea has been meet with a fair amount of scepticism by engineers and architects and the UK Chamber of Shipping tweeted: "Building a huge concrete structure in the middle of the world's busiest shipping lane might come with some challenges".

It is not the first time the idea of a Channel bridge has been put forward. According to the BBC transport officials submitted plans for one in 1981. The plan was dismissed as "impractical" at the time, as it would make it difficult for ships to navigate the waters.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, bridge designer and former president of the Institution of Structural Engineers Ian Firth said it would be a "huge undertaking, but absolutely possible".

However, Downing Street has said there are "no specific plans" for a bridge between the UK and France .

Nick Myall

News editor

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