I WAS interested to read Glenda Burns’s letter (August 18) contrasting the tiny half-electric-powered aircraft – originally built in 1974 – crossing the Pentland Firth being promoted as some kind of high-tech answer to island connectivity with the double ferry fiasco currently languishing in Ferguson’s shipyard in Port Glasgow.

Only two years after the start of construction, the Faroe Islands (population approximately 53,000) have just completed 9km of a 10.7km tunnel to an island of only 1200 people. It is expected to carry 300-400 cars a day between the islands of Streymoy and Sandoy. Work on the tunnel commenced in the summer of 2019 and this giant piece of infrastructure is scheduled to open to the public around December 2023, making it the Faroe Islands’s fourth undersea road tunnel.

READ MORE: Island residents deserve decent ferry services, not pie-in-the-sky projects

The distance between Burwick in Orkney and John O’ Groats, for example, is just less than 14km. I have no idea of the geology involved but perhaps the concept needs to be at least considered for this and a number of other island routes.

The cost of the Faroe’s tunnel is 860 million Danish Kroner, less than £100 million at today’s exchange rate. The possible cost of the Ferguson ferries is actually much harder to pin down but apparently could end up at around £300 million.

In addition, it seems that a Scottish solution to the never-ending problems of the Rest and be Thankful, which may involve a tunnel of some sort, is possibly 10 years away: five years to “consult” on it and find the money and an unbelievable five years to actually build it.

Add to all this talk of possibly abandoning plans to dual the remainder of the A9 and it is hard to avoid the conclusion that Scotland is living in some kind of transport dark age.

John Baird

THERE should be no Scottish Greens/SNP coalition until land reform is front and central to government policy. Radical land reform is the essential foundation of the new, fairer Scotland that we hope to build. Better that the Greens should remain outside government until the SNP accept this.

Scott Govan
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