MP hails 'Amber light' on Scotland bridge plan

Jane Witherspoon

Reporter:

Jane Witherspoon

North Antrim MP Ian Paisley has welcomed talks about a prospective bridge connecting Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

Mr Paisley recently, along with South Antrim DUP MP Paul Girvan met with the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling to discuss the bridge.

After the meeting between the three MPs, the Transport secretary said he would be in contact with the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer in order to discuss a feasibility project which would investigate the economics of the bridge and whether it would make financial sence to construct the bridge.

The proposed bridge could be placed anywhere along the Northern Irish coast line, either at the shortest distance to Scotland at 11 miles or at the longest of 23 miles. A similar structure linking Denmark and Sweden will be used as a guide when investigating the logistics of the bridge.

Ian Paisley welcomed the positive discussions.

He said: “This move from a Red Light to an Amber Light shows progress and is encouraging for a future Green Light on the bridge project.”

Speaking to the Guardian, Mr Paisley added: “This is a matter I have raised at our select committee and now the transport secretary is taking this forward to find a way of supporting a feasibility study.

“That would be a significant move and would be most welcome.

“Obviously this is at an early stage but it wouldn’t take a blind man on a galloping horse to miss the opportunities for employment commerce and tourism!

“Any feasibility study would have to look at where the bridge would leave NI and enter the mainland all of that will now need to be considered.

“As a unionist it’s very obvious to see the added attraction of linking our kingdom in this physical way.”

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