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Calling it "the single largest project of this government", Mr Schapps revealed that the chairman of HS2 now estimates that the cost of the project will be somewhere in the range of PS81 - PS88 billion in 2019 prices against a budget equivalent to PS62.4 billion.
We will work with the government and the Oakervee Review into HS2, to demonstrate the strength of the economic case for the full and timely delivery of HS2 fully integrated with NPR and other complementary infrastructure schemes in the North and Midlands.
Mr Cook said the previous budget for HS2 was [pounds sterling]55.7 billion but it could cost up to [pounds sterling]78 billion, with both figures at 2015 prices.
As the architect of HS2, I believe the project is essential for the future prosperity of the UK.
A Department for Transport (DfT) spokesman said HS2 is Europe's biggest construction programme and "like all major, complex projects, delivery plans evolve over time".
Two years ago Parliament passed the legislation for the first phase of HS2 from Birmingham to London, by a colossal 10 to one majority and the support of all the major political parties.
PS CONTINUES ON P3 THE CITY VIEW: P2 CONTINUED FROM FRONT PAGE The review will inquire whether project manager HS2 Limited is still able to deliver the project, whether the line should terminate in London at Old Oak Common rather than Euston, and whether the railway should be stopped at Birmingham.
But Mr Grayling insisted it was wrong to suggest HS2 was preventing other transport projects from going ahead.
Perversely HS2 has had two tries at designing an HS2 station for Leeds, both lying north-south, one a taxi-ride south of Leeds, the other an inconvenient walk over the Aire.
Mr Thurston said: "The HS2 project is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for firms from all parts of the UK to get involved and help deliver Britain's new high-speed railway.
If HS2 is cancelled the money will be gobbled up by London, but if HS2 goes ahead it will not only provide an immediate economic boost for Manchester and the rest of the region it will ensure east/west links will have to be improved in order to disperse passengers who have travelled on HS2 to Leeds and Manchester.
A Government spokesman said: "The HS2 project remains on budget at PS55.7billion."
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- HS1 binding protein
- HS1-associating protein X-1
- HS1-binding protein 1