Stuart Brown, spokesman from the ‘No Fixed Link’ Campaign, shares this response to the latest release from Pro-Link last week. Ed
The No Fixed Link Group acknowledges the updated route and funding methods of their proposed fixed link tunnel, connecting the Island to the mainland.
The No Fixed Link Group continues to oppose the idea of a tunnel between the Island and the mainland.
First off, from a view of practicality, the recent proposals from Pro-Link seem highly flawed.
The £3bn investment
Pro-Link appear to be proposing a PPI 2/3 privately funded and 1/3 publicly funded project.
This would roughly translate to £2 billion private investment and £1 billion public money investment. If their figure of £3 billion is accurate, which we feel it is not, then it does not take any account of the borrowing costs attributed to that investment, just the costs to construct it.
Assuming interest rates stay close to where they are currently and are unaffected by the potential fallout of a “no deal Brexit” then the project would need to generate in excess of double the current ferry income or in excess of £200 million per year for at least 30 years. This seems excessively expensive.
Problems with new exit location
It’s also worth noting the new route, which was chosen due to issue with the previous one, is also flawed. The exit portal seems to come up in the middle of a runway at the Solent Airport.
Little thought seems to have gone into making such a study or choosing a clear route.
Damage to the Island
We remain primarily concerned with the potential damage a tunnel could have on the Island’s:
- Marine Life
- Traffic Volume
There are also no guarantees on any potential cost, toll, location or impact to the environment or Island life.
Despite what has been written elsewhere, these concerns are tangible and cannot be ignored based on other people’s opinions or “facts”.
This is simply because the whole concept of a fixed link is entirely theoretical and as such there are no facts, just best guesses and opinion on both sides of the argument.
We have countered arguments regarding our concerns and have had experts in the relevant fields support our concerns.