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HS2: Rail link costs could rise to £106bn, says review

Building the high-speed rail link HS2 could cost up to £106bn, a government-commissioned review has said.

HS2 train
Siemens/PA

The unpublished report, seen by the Financial Times, says there is "considerable risk" that estimated costs could rise by another 20%.

In 2015, HS2 - a branch of which would run from London through South Yorkshire to Leeds, with a branch running into North Yorkshire - was set to cost £56bn.

The review also recommends pausing the second phase of the project while experts look at whether conventional lines could help link Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds instead.

Some £8bn has already been spent on the project, which will connect London, the Midlands and northern England using trains capable of travelling at 250mph.

BBC transport correspondent Tom Burridge said that "on balance", the review recommends the government should proceed with the project, but he added this "is hardly a ringing endorsement".

Severe disruption: M1 West Yorkshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 West Yorkshire southbound severe disruption, between J41 for A650 and J40 for A638 Wakefield Road Ossett.

M1 West Yorkshire - One lane closed on M1 southbound between J41, A650 (Carrgate) and J40, A638 (Ossett), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: M1 West Yorkshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 West Yorkshire northbound severe disruption, at J40 for A638 Wakefield Road Ossett.

M1 West Yorkshire - M1 lane closed on exit slip road northbound at J40, A638 (Ossett), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time