Boris Johnson floats idea of Channel 'bridge' at UK-France summit

The Foreign Secretary said it was “ridiculous” that two of the world’s biggest economies are “linked by a single railway”

The Foreign Secretary said it was “ridiculous” that two of the world’s biggest economies are “linked by a single railway” Credit Telegraph

It seems that when Johnson raised the idea of a new link over the Channel with Macron yesterday, the French president replied: "I agree, let's do it".

Reports have emerged that Johnson suggested building a 22-mile bridge across the shortest distance between the countries that would exist alongside the Channel Tunnel rail link.

But Downing Street has since down-played rumours surrounding the bridge, saying that there are "no specific plans" and that Johnson had simply proposed the idea of a "fixed link".

The foreign secretary was one of a slew of Cabinet ministers who held talks with their French counterparts at yesterday's pow-wow, and it's his suggestion of a cross-Channel bridge which receives prominent coverage in Friday's papers.

"Should the Channel Tunnel be just a first step?"

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Industry groups have poured scorn in the idea of a bridge across the Channel. "Before the tunnel was built there were bridge options being looked at and of course it is doable".

"Technology is moving on all the time and there are much longer bridges elsewhere", Johnson told his aides, according to the newspaper.

"It's good to have vision, particularly with respect to infrastructure projects, but the Dover Strait is the world's busiest shipping lane with many, many hundreds of vessel transits per day", said Guy Platten, CEO of the UK Chamber of Shipping.

"The Strait of Dover is the world's busiest shipping lane, carrying more than 500 ships daily, so construction would cause huge disruption to sea traffic".

A source close to the foreign secretary said he also thought it was "crazy" the two countries were only connected by one railway line when they were merely 20 miles apart.

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