East Cowes to Lee-on-the-Solent link costs

This proposed route runs from East Cowes to Lee-on-the-Solent.  It requires approximately 1km of new road on the IOW, 3km of tunnel from East Cowes, 3km of bridge from Meon Road and 4km of carriageway improvements to the A27 roundabout at the top of St Margaret’s Lane.

Here are the sources:

Costs of widening or building highways (excludes land costs), as at 2005:

A single carriageway has been chosen as the flow won’t be ‘lumpy’ like ferries. The most expensive is coded at D3MWID at £4m per lane, per KM.

Land purchase costs, which is approximately a KM from the junction at York Avenue along NewBarn Lane to the sea – that’s at Savill’s average land value as at this month of £10k per acre. We need about 2.5 acres to do what we need, so let’s say £100k to cover that, although there would need to be negotiation with home owners on this very minor road.

The route across the seabed would need to be arranged with The Crown, which shouldn’t be too difficult to get agreed.

Costs of bridges on page 18, as at 2006:


Which gives up £2,125 per square metre for the deck, assuming 6.75m wide:


And the tunnel…. That’s the tough bit and difficult to find, but if we take the cost of the immersed tube tunnel in Limerick (€660m for 675metres of tunnel) and assume the cost is not directly proportionate to the length (longer plain sections are easier and cheaper to build and lay than the entry and exit portals), we will use a cost of £1.5bn for the tunnel part of the project.

So the final bit is to add on inflation for the historic costs, for which I used this: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/…/Historic-inflation-calculato…

So, the construction figures:

5km of roads being upgraded, or laid: £72m
3km of tunnel: £1500m
2km of bridge at 6.7m wide deck: £37m

So, this gives a grand total of £1,607m for the project.

Amortise that over 50 years – £32m cost per year, plus maintenance, but we’re not building a high maintenance structure here – we’re going practical – maybe we should fit tidal turbines to generate electricity to pay for the maintenance?

Let’s define the crossing at a charge of £22 each way toll.

Use the Red Funnel stats on the Car Equivalent Units (CEU)they move each year, which are available here:


This gives 1,038,910 CEUs available, with a utilisation of 44.5% (463,315 units moved each year).  We know their route recently passed Fishbourne as the most popular, so they’re going to be moving about the same number of CEUs and that needs to be topped up with some more CEUs for the Yarmouth route, so we’ll work with a round figure of 1.5m CEUs moved per year.

So, those 1.5m vehicle movements, at £20 a go pops out at £33m income per year, so if we run the project in the public domain that delivers an effective return on investment.

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