Cost of HS2 could increase by £30bn

HS2, which will create two Birmingham stations, could surpass its budget by up to £30bn, the chairman of the project has warned.

Allan Cook has written to the Department for Transport to say the infrastructure project cannot be delivered within its current £56bn budget, according to the Financial Times.

According to the paper, Cook’s preliminary findings on the high-speed rail link signal it could end up costing between £70bn and £85bn.

Cook replaced Sir Terry Morgan in December, and had been asked to reassess the project, the first phase of which is scheduled to be completed by 2026.

Earlier this month HS2 cancelled its original procurement strategy for Curzon Street Station in Birmingham due to lack of interest.

The government body behind England’s high-speed rail held an industry day last week in what it calls a fresh approach to encourage prospective contractors.