An independent review has been announced to examine ‘whether and how HS2 should proceed'.

A final report will be sent to transport secretary Grant Shapps with "oversight from the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer" by the autumn.

Mr Shapps said: "The Prime Minister has been clear that transport infrastructure has the potential to drive economic growth, redistribute opportunity and support towns and cities across the UK, but that investments must be subject to continuous assessment of their costs and benefits.

"That's why we are undertaking this independent and rigorous review of HS2.

"Douglas Oakervee and his expert panel will consider all the evidence available and provide the department with clear advice on the future of the project."