Chief ministers offer political support for Guernsey-Jersey-France tunnel
THE CHIEF ministers of Guernsey and Jersey have formally offered political support to take forward plans for a tunnel linking the islands with France.
Guernsey’s Gavin St Pier and Jersey’s John Le Fondre have written to the scheme’s proposer, Martyn Dorey, saying that the ‘Connect 3 Million’ vision could be a ‘defining project’ for the Channel Islands.
The letter comes after Mr Dorey presented his ambition for a fixed link between the islands and France at the joint working group of the Guernsey and Jersey governments.
‘That presentation, and the discussions across the Channel Islands relating to, demonstrate that this is a serious ambition. Should this ambition be realised, the proposal could be a defining project for our islands’ long-term economic, environmental and social future,’ said the two political leaders.
They confirmed that they were supportive ‘in principle’ of further work being undertaken and for an independent expert investigation of the technical detail and viability of the project.
‘The proposal will - of course - need to establish broad public and political support in due course to achieve a successful outcome, and we need to be clear that we cannot make firm commitments at this stage.
‘However, such support can only be developed, in due course, through the completion of a detailed technical investigation into the project.’
The chief ministers also said they were supportive of Mr Dorey’s approach to consider the funding of a feasibility study backed by private sector investors ‘given the need for a project of this nature to be led and delivered by the private sector.
‘If it is appropriate for us to meet potential investors in due course, we would be willing to do so’.
The letter added: ‘We will support the work that is undertaken with any information and data that we can provide, and our officers will engage fully with you and the providers of the work while it is being undertaken. We will be pleased to discuss the conclusions and recommendations when the work is completed.
‘We note that you have sought out an international engineering industry partner for support, and we have no objections to you partnering with Ramboll in order to progress your proposal to the next stage.’