The proposal to build a barrage over Morecambe Bay and the Duddon Estuary appears most attractive (Gazette, June 20, 'Bay Bridge Campaign Wins Pledge').

The prospect of winning large amounts of electricity from the tides is irresistable, and the prospect of a short cut to your destination really appeals.

Those with an inquiring mind, could do a lot worse than read the book 'The Tide' by Hugh Aldersey-Williams (Viking, 2016).

There have almost certainly been many technical advances in recent years.

Aldersey-Williams tells us of the Fundy Ocean Research Centre and mentions that heavily sedimented water is less than ideal for converting tidal into electrical power.

There may have been advances which mitigate this problem.

There are some things which we can't improve, for example, the tides themselves. The speed or rate of the flow is not a constant throughout the time between low and high water. In addition, neap tides would not be as productive as the spring tides.

Disregard the predicted rise in sea level for the time being, and let us look at the known problems. If the proposed barrage was to resemble the artist's impression in the newspaper, the road would have to be closed at times of high winds.

The railway got around this problem by building a wind measure device to raise the alarm and allow them to stop the trains going over Ulverston viaduct. This was after a goods train had been blown over on the bridge.

Putting a barrage across Morecambe Bay would destroy the shellfish industry in Morecambe, Flookburgh, Ulverston and Newbiggin.

As the bay is a public fishery, it could need an act of parliament to close it.

The barrage would need to be a good deal higher than the coast road at Newbiggin, as anyone who has watched the seas breaking over the road during a rough tide will testify.

It would be possible to build walls each side higher than a high-sided lorry and get around the difficulty that way.

The bird enthusiasts may be more of a problem, however, as the bay is considered to be important to them.

If tide water is to be retained behind the barrage on spring tides there could be a problem with the draining of low land around the bay, but pumping stations around the bay could cure that little difficulty.

The big snag would be that by damming the ebb, the bay would silt up in a very short time.

Starting from Rampside will not be an issue but what of the other end? Crossing the busy shipping channel near Lune Deeps would be out of the question.

What of Heysham Head? There could be a few objections to disturbing the old graves, church, hosts of ghosts and so on.

The big question, however, is the toll. How much silver will it cost to enjoy the new short cut? Rather a lot I would imagine.

As for the Duddon Estuary, that really needs a bridge.

A high one, to allow the shipping to pass beneath, would be ideal but would not lend itself to electricity generation from the tides.

How about if the bridge were to be covered with solar panels, not such a daft idea as it may seem if they were incorporated into the bridge at the design stage.

J.B. Holme