IN A LETTER to the UK Secretary of State for Transport, Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson has poured cold water on the concept of building a tunnel to link Northern Ireland with Scotland, suggesting the money would be better spent on delivering the vital infrastructure investment the respective communities need.

In addition, he asked the UK government to commit to accelerating the pace of HS2, extending it to Scotland’s two largest cities and commit to a programme which builds the capacity for high speed rail services from north to south at the same time as south to north; as well as electrifying the rail networks at the major English ports of Teesport, Felixstowe, Thames Haven and Immingham to improve the viability of rail freight to and from Scotland.

With regard to the Scottish Transport Secretary’s negative view on both the suggestion of a bridge and later a tunnel between Scotland and Northern Ireland, reader David McCutcheon, CEO of Bullet Express, had this to say:

‘Quite frankly his reply shows the utter short sightedness of the SNP. We will get nowhere if this hatred for anything they did not think of continues.

The £20bn will provide jobs, new access to both ends of the bridge and bring massive benefits to both countries. It’s our cash they are spending as Road Tax payers.

‘At present, hundreds of hauliers are bound by sailing times causing regular congestion on the roads to both ports, this bridge will allow travel to and from Ireland at any time, night or day, allowing a better, cost effective and green supply of goods.

Add to that the huge fees paid for each sailing. We could toll the bridge at half the cost of each sailing.

‘The £20bn includes wages and sub contract work providing massive benefits to Scotland alone.

‘I for one, 100% support the building of a bridge or tunnel as my business and suppliers would greatly benefit.’