- Boris Johnson floats the idea of building a huge bridge across the English Channel.
- But Theresa May says there are no plans to do so.
- Experts dismiss the idea as unworkable.
- An aide to the French president dismisses the idea.
LONDON – Theresa May has slapped down Boris Johnson’s calls for a 20 mile-long bridge across the English channel, with her spokesman saying the prime minister has no plans to build one.
Asked by Business Insider whether the government would consider the idea, a spokesman for the prime minister said that “I’ve not seen any plans on that,”
He later added that there were “no specific plans” in place to build the bridge.
The foreign secretary last night floated the prospect of building a new link to the continent following a meeting with French president Emmanuel Macron.
However the idea was immediately savaged by leading architects and shipping experts as impractical, with an aide to Macron also dismissing the idea.
“Building a huge concrete structure in the middle of the world’s busiest shipping lane might come with some challenges,” the UK Chamber of Shipping tweeted.
“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,” Alan Dunlop, an architect and professor at the University of Liverpool, told the Times.
An aide to Macron told the Financial Times that the two countries would be better off relying on the existing tunnel under the Channel instead.
“Only 55 per cent of Channel tunnel capacity [is] used on average – so before building a bridge, let’s use the tunnel,” they said.
Downing Street said they would instead be appointing a new panel of experts to look at possible infrastructure projects.
A spokesman told BI: “What was agreed yesterday and the foreign secretary tweeted about as well is a panel of experts will look at major projects together including infrastructure and we want to work very closely with our french colleagues at building a shared prosperous future.”
Johnson has previously floated large infrastructure projects that subsequently failed to materialise. A plan to build an multi-billion pound airport in the Thames Estuary was dismissed by the government as unfeasible and too expensive.
Johnson’s plans to build the so-called “garden bridge” in London, were dropped by his successor as London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, over concerns about its viability, leaving Londoners with a nearly £50 million bill.
Asked whether the PM has confidence in the foreign secretary’s record of delivering infrastructure projects, they replied that: “Boris Johnson is foreign secretary and doing an excellent job.”