Government to review whether HS2 should proceed

The second phase of HS2 that will run between Leeds and Manchester is scheduled for completion by 2032-33. Credit: PA

The Government have commissioned an independent review into HS2 will analyse whether and how the project should continue.

Former HS2 Ltd chairman Douglas Oakervee will lead the inquiry, with LordBerkeley - a long-term critic of the high-speed railway scheme - acting as his deputy.

The DfT said the review will consider a number of factors relating to HS2,including its benefits, impacts, affordability, efficiency, deliverability, scope and phasing.

A final report will be sent to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps - withoversight from Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Sajid Javid - by the autumn.

This will "inform the Government's decisions on next steps for the project",according to the Department for Transport.

Around £7bn already spent on the project Credit: PA

The review's terms of reference state that it will consider how much "realistic potential" there is for cost reductions by amending the scope ofthe project, such as:

- Reducing the speed of the trains

- Making Old Oak Common the London terminus "at least for a period", instead of Euston

- Building only Phase 1, between London and Birmingham

- Altering plans for Phase 2b, which currently involves taking the line to Manchester and Leeds.