Rail, Road

Boris moots drive-through Channel crossing

[ January 19, 2018   //   ]

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson suggested that ‘drive through’ road bridge could one day be built across the Channel at a summit between Prime Minister Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron yesterday (18 January).

The foreign secretary has made similar suggestions in the past, so far without result.

Plans for a combined bridge and tunnel using artificial islands that would have allowed vehicles to drive between Britain and France were considered as part of the scheme that eventually saw the opening of the Channel Tunnel with its rail shuttle services open in 1994. However, at that time objections included possible interference with one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

However, experts interviewed in a number of newspaper and broadcast articles in the wake of Johnson’s pronouncement suggested that these could be largely overcome due to advances in vessel navigation systems.

A more fundamental objection could be finance. The existing Tunnel ended up heavily indebted to its bankers. Although it is now operating at a profit. But it could once again be plunged into heavy losses, if customers defected to a drive-through alternative.