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Stormont Minister pleased “distraction” of Boris’ bridge to Northern Ireland “put to bed”

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Plans to build a fixed transport link between Northern Ireland and Scotland have been put to bed, a Stormont minister has said.

Nichola Mallon said she was pleased to have got confirmation that plans for a bridge or tunnel have been shelved.

Her comments to her Assembly scrutiny committee followed a report in this week’s Financial Times that the project was set to be a high-profile casualty of a Treasury spending review.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been a vocal supporter of the fixed link and the UK Government had commissioned a feasibility study to examine if the infrastructure project was possible.

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READ MORE: ‘Boris bridge’ plan to link Scotland and Northern Ireland axed

Some experts estimated a bridge could cost £20 billion.

“I was pleased that we got confirmation that the distraction of a £20 billion fixed bridge, or three tunnels and a roundabout under the sea has finally been put to bed,” Ms Mallon told a meeting of Stormont’s Infrastructure committee.

“This was a bridge that was estimated to cost £20 billion and we all know around this table what we could do for infrastructure and for our communities with £20 billion.”

Nicola Mallon

Ms Mallon said the Government had yet to stump up the funds required for a series of infrastructure projects within Northern Ireland that it committed to supporting in the New Decade, New Approach agreement that restored powersharing in 2020.

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“The truth is that the British government, Boris Johnson have signed up to a number of infrastructure commitments in New Decade, New Approach,” said the minister.

READ MORE: Scotland-Northern Ireland tunnel — What was it and why have plans been ditched?

“It was Boris Johnson who wanted the terminology to ‘turbocharge our infrastructure’ in New Decade, New Approach and I continue to make engagements with ministerial counterparts in the British government to press on them to realise that commitment.”

She added: “I will continue to do what I can to secure the funding that has been promised.”

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