A think-tank said in a report out today the demand for the HS2 link - which will connect Leeds to London - has been "overestimated".
"Demand for HS2 has likely been overestimated by oversimplified government modelling.
The foundation suggested alternatives for the money that will be spent on HS2: £10 billion could transform rail infrastructure in northern England and the Midlands, creating new and faster east-west rail links, redeveloping stations and electrifying regional rail lines
"It could overhaul the East and West Coast main lines, increasing the speed, capacity and reliability of north-south rail travel with less environmental damage than HS2."
– Spokesman for the New Economics Foundation - who published the report
"HS2 is the largest transport investment in the UK's history. At the moment it amounts to a £33 billion gamble.
"Our research shows the Government is backing the wrong horse. Instead of pouring billions of pounds into a single line that will take 20 years to complete we should be spreading our bets on a wider range of transport investments that offer better value for money."
"Demand for long-distance rail travel has doubled to 125 million journeys a year in the past 15 years and by the mid-2020s the West Coast Main Line will be completely full.
"HS2 will provide the capacity needed in a way that will support thousands of jobs and billions of pounds worth of economic benefits.
"It is not a case of HS2 and nothing else. During 2014-19 we are investing over £9b on the current rail network, while latest figures show over a one year period we spent upwards of £8.7 billion on our roads.
"We will continue to make significant investment into all modes of transport across the country."