Tunnels to Scottish islands in new Transport Scotland plan

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The appraisals are mentioned in Transport Scotland’s Islands Connectivity Plan, external, which has been put out for public consultation. It has proposed examining the suitability of tunnels for:

  • Sound of Harris – linking Uist and Harris/Lewis

  • Sound of Barra – linking Barra and Uist

  • Mull and the Scottish mainland

Transport Scotland said a previous review had identified the potential for tunnels for some islands.

The agency said: “It concluded that replacing ferry services with fixed links can improve reliability, connectivity, capacity and travel times, and allow for the wider reconfiguration of ferry services.”

But it added that some islanders had concerns and more detailed studies were needed.

Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil is among supporters of the idea of road tunnels similar to those linking communities in the Faroe Islands.

Leading Scottish engineer Andy Sloan has also previously spoken of the potential benefits of the fixed links.


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