I have been a regular user of the ferries from Stranraer to Belfast for many years.

It’s a long bus journey from Carlisle to Stranraer but a fairly straightforward one, with no changes or connections to make. And I try to miss as much of it as possible by pursuing one of my major pastimes, sleeping.

I tend to nod off shortly after we cross the border and in the best-case scenario I won’t wake up until the driver tells us all to get off at the ferry terminal.

On the bus journey back here I also try to get some sleeping done - though I’m careful to set the alarm on my mobile phone to wake me up in Annan. The bus terminates at Victoria coach station in London and I don’t want to wake up and find it’s the next stop.

Something like that happened many years ago on a train that was supposed to take me to Dumfries. I awoke just as it was coming into Blackpool.

I’ll abandon that well-trodden path and all its snoozing when the flights from Carlisle to Belfast get off the ground. A quick hop across the sea will take less than an hour. It will become feasible to have a weekend in Northern Ireland without having to give up most of two days for travelling.

I suppose the ferries will continue, for lorries and for those who find it handier than any airport. At least for now. In the future they mightn’t need to board a boat.

No sooner had Boris Johnson talked of a bridge across the channel than the prospect of one across the Irish Sea resurfaced.

It’s been spoken of before but this time it’s been mentioned by architect Professor Alan Dunlop, who knows rather more about these things than our attention-seeking foreign secretary.

He said a road and rail crossing from County Antrim to Galloway would make far more sense and end up far less expensive that one from Dover to Calais.

The Johnson idea could cost as much as £120 billion, whereas the cost of a Scotland to Ireland crossing would be £15 billion to £20 billion.

The coastlines of both countries are more sheltered, the waterway is better protected and there aren’t anywhere near as many ships as there are in the English Channel.

He’s suggesting it could stretch across the 28 miles from Portpatrick in Galloway to Larne. The gap between Campbeltown on the Mull of Kintyre and the north-east Antrim coast is only 12 miles, though getting to and from either wouldn’t be easy.

The prospect of travelling by train from Dublin or Belfast to Glasgow or Edinburgh in just a few hours sounds immensely appealing. And the professor claims it would boost the economies of Scotland and both sides of the Irish border.

I’m all for new infrastructure. I imagine Northern Ireland’s unionists would welcome anything that would help cement the province’s links to the rest of the UK. We could think about it when we’ve funded all our schools and hospitals properly.

But I worry about how it might affect our airport and any Ireland-bound Cumbrians. If they were able drive straight there without leaving their cars, would there be any incentive to fly?

We’ve been waiting for this airport to take off for decades. I hope it isn’t rendered obsolete, like Blackpool Airport, where commercial flights stopped in 2014, or Betamax video recorders.

Given that it’s only 12 miles from Antrim to the Mull of Kintyre, and is less busy, I wonder why no-one has never tried to swim the Irish Sea. Since Matthew Webb first did it in 1875, there haen 1833 channel swimmers.

It’s time someone tried it. But don’t look at me.