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Tuesday, January 08, 2008


This letter, published in full is in today's Record, albeit under the title "Dig this idea".

It was also, to my considerable surprise, read out in full on Radio Scotland's Newsdrive after 5 yesterday - usually they content themselves with a one sentence summary from "listener Neil" but they even gave my full name.

Eliza Jane, is the name given to the tunnel boring machine which has just completed the 5 mile tunnel of the Glendoe hydro scheme. Instead of spending £4.2 billion on a new Forth Bridge why not just send her there & start cutting a tunnel under the Forth. If anybody doubts this is practical look at Norway where, over the last 2 decades, they have built 704 km of tunnels, mostly costing £3.5 million per km & some running as much as 20 km underwater.

Surely this would be more practical than shuffling paper until 2012 & then starting building? Can anybody in authority say why this bridge is going to cost £4.2 billion when the last one cost £19.5 million (equal to £314 in today's money) let alone why we cannot have a tunnel at an even better price?

On the other hand it hasn't appeared in the Herald, Scotsman or Mail & I assume probably won't now. The idea of moving this machine today to start cutting is perhaps OTT but the basic tunnel proposal, with figures, is very practical & I am still waiting for anybody in authority to explain why we have to have a bridge at £4.2 billion.

Should any MSPs feel able to explain this I will put it on my blog The only explanation I have seen was from Alex on the Herald online which basically blames government bureaucracy.

Angry Steve has told me the letter appeared in the Metro in Glasgow (againn "Boring appeared in the Headline) & the Scotsman have put it in today (Weds) Nobody from the official side has commented though somebody who used to be close to the centre of government has agreed this is a very good question.

Saw it in the Metro this morning on the train... I do agree, the cost is outrageous!
Thanks Steve I'll look for a copy.
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