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16 October 2014

Arnish Lighthouse

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Western Isles Tunnel

Browsing the blogosphere this evening, I encountered a staggering number of references to a proposed tunnel, linking Stornoway and Ullapool. I think someone misread a story and it spread internationally like wildfire. After checking the Stornoway Gazette for February 8th, I think the story should read something like this.

Following disruption to ferry services in winter gales, the Transport Committee of the Western Isles Council has launched an investigation into the possibility of establishing a fixed link with the mainland. The closest points to the Isle of Skye, which is linked itself to the Scottish mainland by the bridge at Kyleakin, are located at Rodel, Harris as well as North Uist.

The confusion obviously arose when reference was made to the current link to mainland Scotland, constituted by the Stornoway to Ullapool ferry. As I said at the start of this piece, stories about a 41 mile / 66 km tunnel are flying around the Internet.

Posted on Arnish Lighthouse at 22:04


There's two main problems with the reports in the wider media. (a) the route is assumed and wrong. Highly unlikely anyway that it would be a "tunnel to nowhere" heading east from Stornoway. (b) the cost - a lazy assumption it'll cost the same as the Channel Tunnel.

Digital Sands from Berneray

Flying tunnels!! Are they easier to build than underground/water ones?

Nic from Coll

If a Western Isles Tunnel is referred to by its initials, we could soon be travelling by our WITs. (Alternatively, we could join TLATLA - The League Against Three Letter Acronyms)

Annie B from the usual

If heading east from Stornoway is going nowhere, how about heading west? No-one could describe the USofA as 'nowhere'.....the employment opportunities would stretch well into next century.

Flying Cat from puzzled&confused

Geography FC! Due west of Stornoway is N Labrador, near enough to a town called Hebron. Which seems suitably biblical.

Hyper-Borean from John Cabot's cabin

We're on the road to nowhere, if you can believe the BBC weatherman of Polish origin. Maybe he should stick to plumbing, ooh that was uncalled for, after all he did apologize, and our local MP Angus McNeil accepted his apology, very good for him, but, I won't, so there, coming over to this country and slagging us off is not a good way to advance one's career, Or is it????

Thewhitesettler from Nowhereville

Oh not another blasted dog!!!

Flying Cat from in a fluff

TWS: I emailed the weatherman; he replied with a sincere apology within the hour, and said he was visiting the highlands and islands soon. So there you go.

Digital Sands from Berneray

Oh good Ds, I've got a dodgy ballcock that needs sorted !!!!

Tws from The Croft Lewis

Are you sure it's Labrador, Hyper-B.? Not Newfoundland? (eh, eh, FC!).

mjc from NM,USA

Blue lights? To keep the drugs users away?

Tired Father from Sebastopol Needle Emporium

Yes mjc Labrador. Stornoway is about 58º10' N, the southern tip of mainland Britain, the Lizard is just south of 50ºN. Most of Newfoundland is south of 50ºN only the big peninsular to the NW goes north of that up to about 51º30'N say on a parallel with London. The whole of th US with the exception of Alaska is south of the whole of the UK.

Hyper-Borean from Sebastian Cabot's Portolan chest


Flying Cat from lying down in a darkened sunroom

There's a light at the edge of the tunnel.

Annie B from the usual

Just kidding, Hyper-B! # In any case, the proof of the (black?) pudding is in the eating. A paddling or rowing boat leaving Stornoway going due West will end up in Newfoundland, not Labrador, because of suspected (or unsuspected?) currents! If you don't believe me, Hyper-B., TRY IT !! And stick a GPS in the canoe with other supplies. Good luck!! Give me a call when you get to St. John's (and, remember, no collect calls!).

mjc from NM,USA

theres a light shining over at the frankenstein place....

mia from ancient music emporium

Perhaps navigationally correct mjc; but geographically! Anyway if I ever decide to to set the longship on the Old Grey Widowmaker, I'll borrow a skraeling's mobile when I land at L'Anse aux Meadows

Hyper-Borean from Cabot's sea chest

The powers that be know what direction to take,(snigger)!,However as long as they make the connection with the (scottish mainland) that would be most desirable,due to the fact that we need to come up to breath every other mile,so shortest possible route and all that But Judging by the comments laid out here,one has to hope that those who undertook the contract can concentrate on the job better than those who chose to participate and comment on the original topic here which was about a tunnel ,but somehow took a wrong turning,now no one knows which way to turn I think, so is it a tunnel to far or is it a case of having a blow hole every five miles to check that your going in the right direction,.or shall we as another gentleman pointed out,end up in (A NEW FOUND LAND)..........As long as there"s maragan , who cares,.

The New Point Bard from Point,.

Is it true the tunnel could only be used at low tide?

Richard Hunter from Ullapol

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