Bressay tunnel not cost effective (Allen Fraser)
Fixed links have to be the way forward in the long term for the North Isles and Whalsay but I question the wisdom of putting Bressay ahead of Yell and Unst. I would question that a fixed link requiring an extra 10 miles return trip by road would save much in Bressay commuters’ costs, especially as in reality there should be a toll charge for upkeep of the tunnel. Indeed some would question if Bressay needs a fixed link at all.
If Bressay is to have a fixed link then I would seriously question that a tunnel is the best form of a fixed link. Of course you can tunnel through practically anything, but I would have serious doubts about tunnelling through the highly fractured and disrupted sandstone and conglomerate under Bressay Sound as being the most cost effective option.
It was the flawed judgement and inflated egos of the protagonists in the Bressay Bridge fiasco that ensured there is no fixed link to Bressay today. The millions wasted by the inability of the council and the harbour trust to agree how to span 500 metres of water is a disgrace and an ongoing drain on public finances. Even more amazingly those involved still have the brass neck to hold public office and are making recommendations on how vast sums of public money should be spent in a whole range of major projects.
Why is it that other island groups such as Orkney and Faroe can get on and build high schools and fixed links without leaving a trail of squandered millions and nothing to show for them?
Now it looks like it will happen all over again if Bressay is put ahead of Yell, Unst and Whalsay.