BORIS Johnson’s plans for a crossing between Scotland and Northern Ireland have been shelved after a report concluded it would be "too technically challenging and expensive".

The Prime Minister has backed proposals for a bridge or tunnel in the North Channel – dubbed the “world’s most stupid” crossing by former adviser Dominic Cummings – as part of plans to boost support for the Union.

But is has now been reported by the Telegraph that the project will be formally ruled out in the coming weeks when a feasibility report is published as part of the Union Connectivity Review.

Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy has been tasked with drawing up the review, which is assessing transport links between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

A Government source told The Telegraph: “Hendy has examined if this is affordable and practical and he concludes it would be technically very challenging at the moment."

The National:

READ MORE: Scotland-Northern Ireland bridge architect claims project 'not stupid'

They added: “That’s not to say it won't become viable at some point in the future, but at the moment it would be very, very difficult and expensive.”

It is estimated that the crossing, which would be constructed between Portpatrick in Dumfries & Galloway and Larne in County Antrim, would cost in the region of £15-£20 billion.

Both Stormont and Holyrood ministers have baulked at the proposals, complaining of a lack of consultation from Westminster and arguing the money would be better spent elsewhere.

Responding to the Telegraph report, Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson wrote: “What a surprise.”

Meanwhile, the SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford demanded that the money for the crossing be allocated to the governments at Stormont and Holyrood.

He said: “Let’s be honest, Boris Johnson’s plans for a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland were daft – but the funding that was suggested for it can and should be made available.

“It could then be spent on transport and connectivity projects that are worthwhile and deliverable – and compatible with our climate obligations.

“The Tories’ HS2 snub to Northern England last week shows how their promises can’t be trusted. But a fair share of the money earmarked for the bridge project could allow proper investment in projects like high speed rail for Scotland.

“And the money should be allocated to Holyrood and Stormont to spend as they choose, respecting devolution – not spent over the heads of the devolved governments."