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Drink While You Think - Tunnel Visionary Martyn Dorey

07 May 2021

Vision Technology

A potential £2.6 billion project that could see an underwater tunnel built linking the Channel Islands to France, continues to be developed by a businessman in Guernsey.

Martyn Dorey presented his plans for an underground tunnel running from Guernsey to Jersey, and then on to France, at a new ‘Drink and Think’ event hosted by Interior Design firm POS Interiors.

“It would take 15 minutes to get from Guernsey to Jersey,” said Mr Dorey. “If you massively reduce a journey time, more people will do it, it’s actually more important than price or anything else.”

The focal point of the talk was an in-depth look into how the Faroe Islands tunnel has benefited the archipelago and how that could be replicated here.

The Eysturoy tunnel is a large undersea tunnel connecting the island of Streymoy to the island of Eysturoy and it was opened last year. The islands also have 19 other tunnels interconnecting various towns and cities through mountain ranges.

“A shortened trip to the capital has a huge impact on productivity,” said Mr Dorey. 

“It [tunnel construction] grew the economy by 11.3% per annum between 2002 and 2008. Nothing changed in the economy, they just made it super quick to get from A to B.”

Mr Dorey first proposed the underwater tunnel in 2020 after developing proposals with a Danish firm called Ramboll.

During his latest presentation Mr Dorey said the project could be completed within six years and pay for itself within thirty: “People are getting faster and faster at digging tunnels.”

“You want to invest in something that will lead to growth,” he continued. “We think shared infrastructure between the Channel Islands is the right way to go.”

Mr Dorey has a variety of proposed routes for the tunnel, and one included a man-made island between Guernsey and Jersey built with the spoil from digging the tunnel. All options would see a train-car much like the Eurotunnel instead of a motorway.

With a feasibility study yet to be done, the project is yet to take off, and there are a number of conversations still to be had with Jersey and France, but Mr Dorey is determined to get people to see his vision for the future.

 

Author: Matt Leach. Snr Reporter at the Bailiwick Express