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CI Undersea Tunnel Under Discussion Again

Guernsey and Jersey's Chambers of Commerce will host an event next month to explore the viability and benefits of a tunnel between the Channel Islands and a link to France.

International experts and stakeholders will be at Guernsey's Old Government House on the 6th of March.

They'll dive into the concept of an undersea network in the Channel.

The group say the multi-million-pound concept is viable because other similar tunnelling projects have been successful.

The Faroe Islands, for example, have built 11 kilometres of sub-sea links in the last four years. Those islands are home to only 55,000 people.

Two key figures from that case study will speak at the Chamber's event next month.

Jersey's Government committed to creating a feasibility study for a tunnel or bridge between the Channel Islands and France in 2023.

Rollo de Sausmarez is the spokesperson for Connect 3Million - which is a group of local businesses that have supported the idea since 2019.

He says the benefits outweigh the obstacles:

"Many of the problems we have come from the fact that we are isolated - there is an expensive stretch of water between us and anywhere else, and that increases the cost of everything.

So the more we are connected, the more those problems fall away.

It is going to be a lot of money, but the money generated from thousands and thousands of people using it every day are really quite significant."

Alice Gill, a Chamber spokesperson, says they are asking people to put aside their scepticism:

"Imagine hopping on a train for 15 minutes to get a flight from Jersey airport – and what could another 70,000 customers do for the destination and airline options? Then what could we do with the space that our airport is on?

Guernsey's harbour has fewer physical restrictions in comparison to Jersey, it could become the main harbour for both islands. Then roll this out to all areas... tourism, healthcare, recruitment...

The possibilities and potential benefits are huge - we would be so much stronger connected."

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