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Traffic levels in Sandoy Tunnel, the Faroes’ fourth undersea road tunnel, have trebled initial estimates.

A local news site reports that since the tunnel was opened last December, vehicles have used the tunnel 60,000 times, boosted by an introductory toll-free period until January 12.

From December 21 to 31, the total traffic volume was 24,202, an average of 2,200 daily. In January, the total traffic count was 39,215 or an average of 1,265 per day, far higher than earlier estimates of a daily 300-400.

Local.fo also noted the international attention the Faroese tunnel-building has garnered, especially in Scotland, where replacing ferries with tunnels is being given serious consideration after all the controversy about soaring ferry and port construction costs.

The earlier Eysturoy Tunnel (Eysturoyartunnilin), which opened to the public in 2020, famously featured the world’s first undersea roundabout. 

The combined cost of building the Eysturoy and Sandoy Tunnels is estimated at €349 million or about £301m, according to the www.local.fo news website. The cost of constructing the two ferries - Glen Sannox and Glen Rosa – being built on the Clyde and port works associated with them is presently estimated at around £450m – and neither of them is ready to set sail yet.

Shortly before the inauguration of the 10.8 kilometre Sandoy Tunnel (Sandoyartunnilin) - the longest road tunnel in the island nation - as reported by welovestornoway.com, Scottish MPs Angus MacNeil and Ronnie Cowan paid a visit.

During the visit, the Isles MP told news daily Portal.fo: “The fact that you have built a 10.8km undersea tunnel connecting two islands, with one of them only being inhabited by 1,200 people, is just outstanding. We have much to learn from the Faroese.”

He added: “I have visited Faroe several times and can only affirm that you are masters of your own country. This is more than idle talk; it’s reality. And this is first and foremost because you make your own decisions and are not restricted to asking other people in another country about what is best for your country and people. I envy you this option.”

Top Image credit: Bui Tyril