Offline xasop

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Axe-Parrett Canal
« on: April 05, 2020, 05:21:00 PM »
Currently, the two neighbouring EU states of France and Ireland must route ships around Land's End in Cornwall to transport goods without them leaving and re-entering the EU (and thus being subject to foreign taxation). This is clearly not ideal, but I have just the solution!

Within the county of Somerset, England, the River Parrett flows into the Bristol Channel through low-lying land via Bridgwater down from the town of Langport, where it reaches an elevation of about 10 metres. From there, its tributary the River Isle continues up to reach an elevation of 20 metres shortly before the town of Ilminster.

Meanwhile, in Devon, the River Axe flows into the English Channel at Axmouth, coming down (somewhat more steeply than the Parrett) from Axminster, where it is also at an elevation of about 20 metres.

Now, the Panama Canal has established an engineering precedent for passing heavy maritime loads through changes in elevation of up to 26 metres. Also, Ilminster and Axminster are separated by about 20 kilometres of relatively low land between two mountain ranges. The highest elevation in this section is about 100 metres, near the town of Chard, which lies in Somerset close to the border with Devon.

My proposal is this: Widen and deepen the Parrett, Isle and Axe rivers along this course to permit the passage of typical container ships. Then, construct a 20-kilometre canal in a new cutting between the towns of Ilminster and Axminster, to connect the two river systems. The pièce de résistance of this engineering project would be a short 1-kilometre tunnel under the highest point on the route, to avoid slicing the eastern half of Chard in two while permitting a typical 65 metres of air draft for passing ships.

Naturally, some additional work would be needed, for instance at Bridgwater where a new route around the town would be required to avoid the demolition of any existing low-level bridges, and to carry the M5 motorway over the route with enough clearance for container ships to pass. But these are all solvable problems with historical precedent.

Once this project is complete, passing ships will be subject to a nominal tariff rather than being treated as leaving and re-entering the EU, and thus avoid any taxation on their cargo. Maritime traffic between Cherbourg and Dublin will then be able to avoid the lengthy detour around Land's End, delivering economic benefits for the EU on par with Boris Johnson's proposed bridge to Northern Ireland.

For an illustration of the topography involved, see this topographic map of Devon.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2020, 05:24:18 PM by Parsifal »
when you try to mock anyone while also running the flat earth society. Lol