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Channel Fixed Link

Volume 82: debated on Tuesday 2 July 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Transport what arrangements are being made for the assessment of proposals from promoters of a Channel fixed link when these are received at the end of October.

The assessment of proposals for a Channel fixed link will be carried out jointly by the British and French Governments. To assist the British Government with this task I intend to appoint consultants in the following fields:

  • a. engineering: to report upon all engineering aspects of the proposed structures, other than inland works infrastructure, including feasibility and safety of construction; design and construction standards, operational and equipment standards, quality assurance and inspection arrangements; security maintenance requirements, and design life; cost and time estimates and provision for contingencies; adequacy of risk analysis with regard to fire, explosions, shipping collisions and so on and provision for emergencies; traffic capacity, management and surveillance. In view of the diversity of the possible proposals, I shall be willing to consider appointing seperate consultants for each of the main types of structure (bridges, bored tunnels and immersed tubes): and also separate consultants for tunnel operations equipment.
  • b. overall programme and capital cost analysis: including appraisal of project capital costs and timing and effectiveness of the proposed project management arrangements in ensuring that the construction project can be finished on cost and schedule;
  • c. hydrology: to appraise the promoters' assessment of the effects upon the sea-bed;
  • d. environmental impact: to appraise the promoters' environmental impact assessments;
  • e. co-ordination: to advise the Government on the overall co-ordination of the assessment.
  • Separate arrangements are being made for the appointment of a merchant bank as financial advisers to the Government during the assessment.Detailed advice to applicants is being made available by my Department today.