HS2 budget hiked to £42.6 billion

Patrick McLoughlin gave the updated figure in the House of Commons Credit: David Jones/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The budget for the High Speed 2 railway has increased by nearly £10 billion to more than £40 billion, the Transport Secretary has told MPs.

Ahead of an expected rebellion by Conservative MPs, Patrick McLoughlin said the £42.6 billion budget included a large contingency fund.

The original budget had been about £33 billion.

The new High Speed 2 (HS2) line is set to link London to Birmingham by 2026. Two second-phase branches to Manchester and Leeds, via Sheffield, are planned by 2032.