The following article appeared in the "Wexford People" this week. It's an old plan revisited again - an Ireland Wales tunnel. The last time it was due to run between Dublin and Holyhead. However, yet again there is no explanation of how the difference between Irish and British railway track gauge is to be overcome!
A railway tunnel from Rosslare Harbour to Wales has been proposed as a solution to the increasing needs of Irish importers and exporters and the demands on a creaking transport system.
The Chambers of Commerce of Ireland says three quarters of companies feel that a tunnel linking Ireland to the UK and Continental Europe was important for Irish business.
'We should commence now at planning for the design, commissioning and completion of a Tuskar Tunnel, linking Ireland to continental Europe via Wales by 2025,' said CCI Chief Executive John Dunne, commenting on the results of a survey of 600 Irish business people.
'Nearly three quarters of companies felt that a tunnel linking Ireland's road network to the UK and Continental Europe was important to Irish business,' said Mr. Dunne.
'This would enable them to seize control of Ireland's destiny in the future and with a view to making Ireland the entry port of choice for pan-European trade with the arrival of super large container vessels,' he said.
Mr. Dunne said while there was a high level of dissatisfaction with roads, 'we do acknowledge that progress is being made'.
'However, if we're serious about driving regional development then the Minister must publish a schedule for the construction of the Atlantic Roadway from Letterkenny to Waterford - particularly the stretch between Galway and Limerick - with a completion date by 2011 at the latest. 'Transport 21 needs to be more than mere optics. We need real, quantifiable metrics set out now, against which the plan's success can be measured and judged,' he said.
The Tuskar Tunnel, estimated to cost more than €11 billion, could include a combination of bridges and tunnels, however, local sources suggested that such a project would remain in the realms of fantasy for the foreseeable future.