Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil has written to Transport Minister Michael Matheson MSP to suggest the Scottish Government visit the Faroe Islands to see a new 11.2 km subsea tunnel.
Mr MacNeil has hailed the success of the Faroes in creating a highly advanced transportation infrastructure which includes 17 land tunnels and two subsea tunnels with another almost complete and construction on a further tunnel due to start soon.
The system, which will include the world’s first subsea roundabout, will virtually eradicate the need for ferry services.
Mr MacNeil said: “The transport network in the Faroes is the kind of system we should aspire to follow in the Scottish islands.
“Infrastructure of this kind would have huge economic and social benefits to all parts of the islands and would remove travel disruption due to weather conditions or issues associated with capacity.”
He has suggested to Transport Minister Michael Matheson that Transport Scotland should visit the nearly complete Faroese tunnel and learn from the Faroese experience of creating a seamless travel system.
The new Faroes tunnel will shorten the travel distance from the capital of Tórshavn to Runavík/Strendur from 55 kilometres to 17 kilometres.
The 64 minute drive will be shortened to 16 minutes. The drive from Tórshavn to Klaksvík will be shortened from 68 minutes to 36 minutes. The tunnel will connect both sides of the bay of Skálafjørður using two tunnels that connect to a roundabout under the seabed at mid-bay. The tunnel will be 2.2 kilometers long from the main road at Rókini in Saltnes to the roundabout, and the distance from Sjógv at Strendur to the roundabout will be 1.7 kilometers.
The main tunnel from Tórshavn to the roundabout will be 7.5 kilometers and will resurface by the village of Hvítanes. In order to increase safety, no inclination in the tunnel is steeper than 5 per cent and the lowest point is 187 meters below the water’s surface.