Alliance Infrastructure spokesperson Andrew Muir MLA has expressed scepticism following the announcement of an official feasibility study for a bridge linking Northern Ireland and Scotland, saying it is more about politics than reality.
The potential project will now be assessed by engineering experts, looking at the feasibility, costs, work needed and timescale.
“Everyone reading this announcement should be aware it’s a classic example of headline-grabbing politics from the Prime Minister. He is aware announcing a feasibility study into the bridge will get people talking, spark lots of debate, but is ultimately a road to nowhere.
“When you look at the backlog of infrastructure projects already delayed in Northern Ireland, the idea we’re going to deliver a bridge of this scale, at the cost at least £20 billion, any time soon is fanciful. We should be focusing on delivering a better roads network in Northern Ireland, particularly in the west, comprehensive walking and cycling infrastructure, and the expansion of our electricity grid and water network.
“These are just some of the long overdue challenges that should be addressed before money is wasted on a feasibility study for the bridge.
“Connectivity with the rest of the UK is absolutely vital for Northern Ireland. Improving the A75 and A77, the roads in Scotland through which a lot of Northern Ireland’s imports travel, would be a much better use of time, money and energy than this distraction, which is more about politics than reality.”