BORE OF THE CENTURY?

The article discusses the channel tunnel in the light of published facts, critically examines a number of factors connected with the economic, commercial and engineering feasibility of the proposals, and discusses aspects of the environmental impact of the scheme. Examining the geological evidence, the article concludes that apart from doubts about the degree or extent of known problems - zones of rotten rock or high permeability - there are unlikely to be any major surprises. The authors agree that no major new technology will be used in digging the tunnels, but nevertheless, they are sceptical of claims that the works will be completed within the estimate. The article asks whether the time allowed for evacuation of the tunnel in the event of emergency is sufficient, and discusses the difficulties of excluding dangerous cargoes. Other safety problems are discussed showing the need for monitoring and detection devices, but the authors are doubtful whether anything effective can be done to prevent sabotage. Briefly discussed are the alternatives to a conventional tunnel - A submerged tube. A bridge and a bridge-tunnel-bridge, none of which are thought to be competitive in cost terms. The article suggests that the environmental impact on Kent has been insufficiently studied and concludes that there is no real answer to the environmental impact of traffic converging on Cheriton. On the commercial front, the authors are critical of the assumptions made in the white paper about the traffic which the tunnel will attract from existing transport modes, and feel that the ability of the ferry operators to fight back has been underestimated. The review ends by casting doubts on the validity of the whole idea that the total demand for transport will continue increasing at present rates.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    IPC Magazines

    66-69 Great Queens Street
    London WC2E 5DD,   England 
  • Publication Date: 1973-10-11

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 92-113
  • Serial:
    • NEW SCIENTIST
    • Volume: 69
    • Issue Number: 867
    • Publisher: REED BUSINESS INFORMATION LTD
    • ISSN: 0262-4079

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00082756
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 24 1975 12:00AM