MP and engineer suggest Faroes-style tunnels for Scottish islands

A Scottish engineer is calling for undersea road tunnels to be built between some of Scotland’s islands to help make their communities more sustainable.

The BBC says Andy Sloan was involved in a proposal 13 years ago for a 350m tunnel to Bressay in Shetland, which was never built. He told BBC Radio Scotland the country could follow an example set by the Faroe Islands, which opened a network of tunnels last Christmas (pictured).

Mr Sloan told the station, “In the Faroes the social impact is quite dramatic – tunnels have improved connectivity and are giving communities opportunities of repopulation and getting to hospitals and amenities.”

Mr Sloan, who is executive director at engineering firm Cowi UK, which is involved in tunnelling work for London’s new Lower Thames Crossing, said tunnel-building was “not complicated”.

“We often get bogged down from an engineering, geology and technology perspective, but there is no question these tunnels are feasible to construct,” he said.

Mr Sloan said tunnels would not be needed to replace ferries but would be part of the “mix” of islands transport.

The BBC adds that Brendan O’Hara, SNP MP for Argyll and Bute, is supporting the call for tunnel building in the west of Scotland.

He said it could be tried out on a short route first, and hoped a tunnel might be even be considered on the mainland as a solution for problems on the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful, which has been frequently affected by landslides.

(Pictures thanks to Ólavur Frederiksen / Faroephoto.com)

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