PROPOSED bridges between Scotland and Northern Ireland and one linking England and France are seen as Boris Johnson “vanity projects” by almost two-thirds of Scots, according to a new survey.

Officials are said to be “actively studying” the Prime Minister’s plan for a £20 billion crossing between Portpatrick, in Dumfries and Galloway, to Larne.

READ MORE: Is bridge plan proof that Boris Johnson reads The National?

He has also advocated a 34-mile bridge across the English Channel for which a price tag of up to £120bn has been suggested.

However, a poll commissioned by public sector procurement specialists Scape Group has suggested that 63% of Scots think they are “vanity projects”.

Fewer than a fifth (16%) of Scots, compared to 24% of Brits, thought the economy would benefit from spending £140bn on Johnson’s bridges and four times as many would prefer to build underground systems in the country’s most important cities, with 78% saying the UK’s investment in metro systems is too focused on London.

The survey showed that Scots, despite their lack of support for the bridges, are not against spending on infrastructure projects in general.

Only 15 globally important cities – as defined by the Globalisation and World Cities Research Network – are in the UK, with just Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle and London – less than a quarter of them – having metro systems. This contrasts with Britain’s closest European peers – Germany, France, Spain and Italy – where 64% of their global cities have an underground network.

Scape said cash for Johnson’s bridges could improve the mass transit infrastructure in 11 “world cities” in the UK, including Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Cardiff and Belfast, none of which have a metro system.

Mark Robinson, Scape Group chief executive, said poor infrastructure was adversely affecting our productivity.

He said: “While the general public have not embraced the recent ideas proposed by Mr Johnson, encouragingly they do support targeted investment in less glamorous developments that will deliver economic benefits.

“Poor transport infrastructure is hampering our productivity – road congestion alone costs our economy £9bn a year.

“Infrastructure is vital to the effective and efficient functioning of society. Investing in underground systems across the UK would be an effective way of creating a productive and functioning workforce – and levelling the playfield with our European peers.

“The UK’s ability to compete on the world stage will be challenged outside the European Union.

“As an open market economy, the country has benefited from overseas investment, and with its future trading position with the rest of the world unknown, it is essential that the UK is better prepared to retain its global competitiveness.

“This could help to make the UK match fit for Brexit.”