COMMENT: Will we ever see Wight at the end of the tunnel?  

0
Have your say

 So, plans have been unveiled for the route of a proposed tunnel that would connect the Isle of Wight to the rest of the Solent region.

It sounds a good forward-thinking idea but there are many unanswered questions surrounding the scheme.

For instance, how much will it cost? And, most of all, if such a scheme is given all the necessary permissions, how long would it actually take to come to fruition?

Don’t forget today’s Channel Tunnel was mooted decades ago. 

In 1802, Albert Mathieu-Favier, a French mining engineer, put forward a proposal to tunnel under the English Channel. In 1839, Aimé Thomé de Gamond, a Frenchman, performed the first geological and hydrographical surveys on the Channel, between Calais and Dover.

In 1865, a deputation led by George Ward Hunt proposed the idea of a tunnel to the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the day, Gladstone.

Around 1866, William Low and Sir John Hawkshaw promoted ideas but apart from preliminary geological studies none were implemented. 

In 1919, during the Paris Peace Conference, the British prime minister, David Lloyd George, repeatedly brought up the idea of a Channel tunnel and in the 1920s Winston Churchill was an advocate for the Channel Tunnel.

There was another proposal in 1929, but nothing came of this discussion and the idea was shelved and so it was until tunnelling commenced in 1988, and the tunnel began operating in 1994.

And how would this proposed link affect our ferry operators?

There are literally hundreds of questions to be asked, answered and discussed and consultations – especially with the public – before such a project gets off the ground.

It would, honestly, be nice to see it happen but don’t hold your breath just yet and continue to use the ferries for a good few years to come...