Whatever we think about the competence of Scotland's politicians, they appear to have a rare skill at promoting initiatives and projects.

Look at the new five-mile M74 extension which bypasses the city centre (“Road link project to open early and under budget”, The Herald, June 15).

The politicians are congratulating themselves that new road is expected to cost £20 million less than expected. In fact, the original promised cost was £177m.

More than £247m was paid for the land alone. So how does this compare with other motorways? According to Hansard in March 2007 motorways cost, on average, corrected for inflation, £6.8 per side and kilometre. So that would be just over £100m. At the time I suggested the motorway could have been put through a tunnel.

The Norwegians have been cuttiing 750km tunnels for more than 20 years averaging about £4m per km.

If it can be done there, it is clearly possibly to do it here. The only thing preventing it is politics.

The equivalent for two lanes of four-lane motorway, covering 8km, would have been £128m.

This is half of what the Scottish Government paid for the land alone – which would not have been needed if there had been a tunnel.

Neil Craig,

200 Woodlands Road,