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Dunlop doubles down on plans for an Irish Sea bridge with new drawings

September 2 2021

Dunlop doubles down on plans for an Irish Sea bridge with new drawings

Professor Alan Dunlop, the architect behind a proposed sea crossing from Scotland to Northern Ireland, has come out in favour of a bridge link over a sub-sea tunnel ahead of an upcoming presentation to the Caledonian Club.

The drawings depict a combined box girder and cable-stayed design snaking from coast to coast after the idea was given fresh impetus by a Scottish Government initiative to build a bridge between Gourock and Dunoon at an estimated cost of between £400m and £1.5bn.

Two options are being investigated for the significantly more ambitious Northern Ireland link, which could connect Larne and Portpatrick at a cost of around £20bn or Mull of Kintyre and Torr Head, estimated to clock in at up to £15bn.

Any Gourock-Dunoon connection would make the second option significantly more feasible by drastically reducing travel times to the Mull of Kintyre.

Dunlop said: "Although it's the link that's always been most important to me, my preferred option would be a bridge or structures that rise above the wave line. The symbolism and iconography is important, you have to see it. So even my tunnel drawings have pontoons that sit on the sea surface and support the tunnel 30 to 40 metres below the wave live, where the conditions are much calmer and Beaufort's Dyke can be avoided.

"A bridge is a marker for a country looking to the future and a visible sign of confidence, a tunnel is not."

The push for a modern-day giants causeway follows a formal submission of a 25-mile twin-bore tunnel by the High-Speed Rail Group, now subject to a feasibility study by Network Rail.

Dunlop will present his vision to the Caledonian Club on 7 September ahead of a visit by Secretary of State for Scotland Jack on 19 October.

A large-scale panorama depicts the drama of arriving at Torr Head via bridge
A large-scale panorama depicts the drama of arriving at Torr Head via bridge


Fat Bloke on Tour
#1 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 2 Sep 2021 at 09:43 AM
We would be as well getting in Jack Vettriano to knock us up a couple of artists impressions -- he has a lot of experience dealing with beaches and open water.

Sir Ano
#2 Posted by Sir Ano on 2 Sep 2021 at 10:25 AM
UR i've drawn picture of a horse, there's a cheeky wee article in there.
Neil C
#3 Posted by Neil C on 2 Sep 2021 at 10:48 AM
Incredible drawings once again, Professor Dunlop. :-) Lovely idea but I doubt very much it can happen.
Dave Clark
#4 Posted by Dave Clark on 2 Sep 2021 at 11:28 AM
We can't even get a permanent solution to the Rest and be Thankful and the A83 has never been improved (resurfacing to prevent it becoming a goat track doesn't count) since the private sector became responsible for it, so anything like this is just pie in the sky.

We don't 'do' transportation in this former First World country.
#5 Posted by Chris on 2 Sep 2021 at 11:36 AM
Add an extra hour to the route just trying to drive through Greenock.
#6 Posted by Matt on 2 Sep 2021 at 14:42 PM
I very much support the idea but its never going to happen sadly. The Scottish Government fail to provide a consistent ferry service to the islands, so forgive my cynicism regarding a sea bridge.
Major infrastructure projects demand leadership and a high calibre of personal at the top of Government...not the hoddit and doddit's of Holyrood.

#7 Posted by Ticht on 2 Sep 2021 at 15:23 PM
Hope that's high-tide.
#8 Posted by Ken on 2 Sep 2021 at 15:27 PM
An 'iconic' project indeed, so why not a more forward thinking aspirational vision for the design?
I know it's just a doodle, and I don't mean to be rude, but this feels like it's been envisaged by a local authority, force fed on 1990's Calatrava...has bridge design moved on in the last 40years?
#9 Posted by Roddy_ on 2 Sep 2021 at 23:55 PM
An amusing wee delusion.

Is it the Caledonian Club in Belgravia London or Caledonian Club, Glasgow Caledonian University?
Couch Potatoe
#10 Posted by Couch Potatoe on 3 Sep 2021 at 09:51 AM
The main problem with this scheme isn't actually the cost or the feasibility of such a build.

It's the fact that no one across our small nations will actually use it.

'Where will we go today honey, Largs or Larne?'

'Eh...none of the above thanks. I think i'll stay here on the couch - more interesting.'
Alan Dunlop
#11 Posted by Alan Dunlop on 3 Sep 2021 at 09:52 AM
Neither Roddy, it's the Caledonian Club in Lochgelly, next to the golf club. Ken, I thought the waves worked out pretty well though.
#12 Posted by brian on 3 Sep 2021 at 12:57 PM
the Queensferry crossing is class.This is just hot air from Bungling Bo and his freak show.
#13 Posted by Chris on 3 Sep 2021 at 15:53 PM
#10 A crossing is being considered for the economic benefits brought by easier movement of freight, not so you can go on holiday.

Connecting to the Mull of Kintyre is the wrong option though, because you’ve still got a hell of a journey to reach Dunoon never mind Glasgow. Whereas the road infrastructure from Stranraer to Glasgow is already there, plus easier connections to England.
Derek Wilson
#14 Posted by Derek Wilson on 3 Sep 2021 at 16:15 PM
The Dunoon bridge would be a solution to the Rest issue for most journeys. It also takes the often bottlenecked Loch Lomond road out the route.
Fat Bloke on Tour
#15 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 3 Sep 2021 at 16:24 PM
Queensferry Crossing -- Class ???

No / No / Thrice No -- it is first and foremost an Auld Reekie tourist attraction.

Adds nothing to the transport capabilities of the nation apart from inventing new reasons to close a bridge that we never had before.

Bridge across the North Channel -- that is the easy bit.

Building a proper road through South Ayrshire -- now that is the difficult bit.

Andrew C
#16 Posted by Andrew C on 6 Sep 2021 at 10:18 AM
Remarkable idea really. Great drawing. Best of luck I fully supprort this as I travel regularly to Belfast.
Wee Senga
#17 Posted by Wee Senga on 6 Sep 2021 at 14:21 PM
nice exciting and potentially expensive near miss between the boat and the bridge. Good to flush out the problems early doors.

Andrew C
#18 Posted by Andrew C on 6 Sep 2021 at 14:34 PM
Can I also add it cost almost £300 to take my car across and I travel over twice a month so the sooner this gets the go ahead the better is my view. It's a great idea!
#19 Posted by modernish on 6 Sep 2021 at 17:33 PM
@#18 - depends how much the bridge crossing toll is. At £350 a return trip i daresay many would still take the ferry.
In practice it's an unnecessary environmentally dubious project, a stupid idea, in the wrong place and perpetuated by a megalomaniac...but apart from that...well...actually, that's it in a nutshell.
Alan Dunlop
#20 Posted by Alan Dunlop on 8 Sep 2021 at 09:06 AM
Jings, crivens and help ma boab! Thanks for letting me know. That's it then. All scuppered by an anonymous poster on Urban Realm.
#21 Posted by FHM on 14 Sep 2021 at 22:55 PM
In the coloured drawing, why is there a little person drawn in the foreground? It changes the scale and perspective of the whole image.

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