IT is transparently clear to anyone who has followed the career of Boris de Pfeffel Johnson that his latest wizard wheeze of proposing a tangible link between Scotland and Northern Ireland is merely a red herring designed by a sly and manipulative obfuscato. (“PM pushes ahead with £20bn road tunnel for Irish Sea”, The Herald, February 11). Whilst critics line up to question the outrageous potential cost of a road tunnel or bridge or label it a vanity project, the Prime Minister will remain wholly unperturbed by any fuss he has unearthed.

Forget the millions of tons of munitions or radioactive waste that would have to be negotiated, as well as the sheer logistical nightmare that any such undertaking would involve. The purpose of his deception is to provide the public with Mr Johnson's usual measure of bread and circuses, a triumph for propaganda over reality and a useful distraction from the actuality of Brexit as witnessed by Michael Gove's admission that businesses will suffer border checks when trading with the EU next year.

Mr Johnson will think nothing of spaffing a few million pounds up the wall, Chris Grayling-style, on ludicrous feasibility studies for an Irish Sea link, knowing that his chums will carry these out and will be beneficiaries of his deliberate chicanery. As Mayor of London, he was responsible for wasting £53 million on the London Garden Bridge project but, as ever, he denied culpability and arrogantly refused to be held accountable or show any concern for a massive waste of public funds.

Like President Trump's much-vaunted proposed wall with Mexico, the Prime Minister realises that appearances are everything and it is prudent to feed the media with headlines that sidetrack them and the public from more sinister or negative developments in government. There will never be an HS2 link to Scotland nor a tunnel or bridge between Scotland and Ireland. That will never stop the Machiavellian Mr Johnson and his cohorts from making solemn promises that there will be.

Owen Kelly, Stirling.

BY far the best economic and political analysis of the Irish bridge suggestion is Steven Camley's cartoon (The Herald, February 11). Little else needs to be said. Sorry, Catriona Stewart, your article came second ("Johnson’s Scotland-Ireland bridge is a distraction", The Herald, February 11). The Johnston/Cummings diversionary tactic to ensure that the Jocks have something to argue about when the big boys announce that they will be spending £106 billion-plus on the HS2 project to make the London to Manchester route a bit faster. Far from geographically re-balancing the economy, HS2 encourages yet again the centrality of London. As for it reaching Scotland, forget it. Our financial contribution will, of course, not be forgotten. The big boys in Number 10 will have calculated that they can spin the fantasy Irish bridge story for a few years to counter any complaints.

At a time when we desperately need massive investment in engineering projects to achieve our climate emergency targets, money and resources are going into a scheme whose net environmental benefits will range from marginal to negative. The resources need to go into the transformation of public transport, renewable energy generation, thousands of district heating facilities, housing re-fitting, extensive hydroponic horticulture. Instead of promoting this work, the best our Westminster rulers will offer Scotland are cynical gimmicks.

Isobel Lindsay, Biggar.

AS a retired civil engineer, my admittedly geriatric mind boggles at the sheer idiocy of the project for a fixed Scotland-Ireland link ("Officials begin sketching out plan for Irish Sea link despite backlash", The Herald, February 11). The so-called cost estimate is ludicrous, the benefits will be minimal, but what shows it up as a total farce is the lack of any proposal to build approaches to the bridge.

It is 100 miles to access the M74 at Gretna along the single-carriageway A75, one of the worst and most frequently blocked roads in Scotland. The alternative approach is 60 miles from the end of the M77/A77 at Ayr, a route I suffered to make a crossing to Larne in June in my 1933 Sunbeam. The even dafter alternative seemingly proposed is a tunnel from Kintyre to be linked to Glasgow by a new 120-mile railway. I venture to suggest that upgrading the A75 and A77 to provide usable links to the current ferries would be a more beneficial way to spend the £20 billion which seems to be sloshing about the Treasury. It must be remembered that the Channel Tunnel enjoyed virtually ideal geological conditions on its route.

While I am on the subject of linking Scotland to places other than England, could an EU enthusiast SNP member suggest a reason for the failure to re-instate the Rosyth-Zeebrugge ferry, other than reluctance to engage in a third ferry building fiasco? I used that ferry three times when it was operating and had conversations with the truck drivers using it to take Scottish seafood to Paris restaurants. There will be clear benefits to that traffic avoiding the controls which will delay other crossings next year.

Bill Clark, Airdrie.

WELL done Steven Camley for the excellent bridge cartoon depicting the idiotic thinking within No. 10. The only thing that was missing was the little pile of 1.5 million tons of unstable high explosive just waiting to be disturbed in Beaufort's Dyke.

Dave Biggart, Kilmacolm.

THIS bridge to Northern Ireland proposal is a complete nonsense, treating us like idiots. Due to the depth at parts it would need columns at 15,00ft high (ie the height of the Campsie Fells) which has never been done and the £20 billion estimate is a joke. This is for the halfwits. You could actually build about 5,000 big ferries for £20bn. A better idea would be large vehicle ferries from Gourock to Dublin.

David McEwan Hill, Sandbank, Argyll.

WHO might have thought it a good idea to divert attention away from the runaway train that is a potential no-deal Brexit coming down the track?

David Kirkwood, Bridge of Earn.

WHILST the Queensferry Crossing is not finished, two years after it was opened, we are to have an Irish bridge. On the plus side the Scottish Government will finally have to improve the very poor A75 and A77 roads. How else can the Chinese steel be delivered to the building site?

John Dunlop, Ayr.

I NOTE more closures to the Queensferry Crossing, a bridge the SNP claimed would never close due to its advanced design and its wind shielding. Unfortunately it forgot that the existing Forth Road Bridge had to close from a build-up of ice on the cables numerous times. Here again it seems to have reinvented the square wheel.

This crossing sits in one of the most exposed areas in Scotland and is wide open to the extreme weather with virtual open sea conditions. Add to this its towers are 200m into the sky, thus suffering more of the extremes of weather. It would not have taken a genius to work out that a higher longer bridge would suffer more from ice build-up than the Forth Road Bridge.

This is another waste of taxpayers' money, an ego project by the SNP that is totally unsuitable for its location and has already reached its capacity two years after opening, just like the hospitals in Edinburgh and Glasgow we are paying for and cannot use and the ferries the SNP nationalised when it claimed it could run them better, that will never sail."

John R T Carson, South Queensferry.

WHEN is a bridge not a bridge? When it is built by an SNP Government that seemed to forget we get not only high winds but also snow, sleet, rain and ice. Who knew?

Jane Lax, Aberlour.

Read more: Johnson gives HS2 rail link green light