HS2 is facing a £30bn cost rise the chairman of the rail project has reportedly warned - taking its overall price to almost £90bn.
HS2 chairman Allan Cook has written to the Department for Transport (DfT) to say the high-speed line cannot be delivered within its £56bn budget, the Financial Times reported.
The high speed line will connect London to Birmingham and then break into two different spurs as it continues on to the West and East Midlands and the North.
The first segment of the project between London and Birmingham is due to open at the end of 2026, with the second phase to Leeds and Manchester expected to be completed by 2032-33.
The DfT said in a statement: 'The chairman of HS2 Ltd is conducting detailed work into of the costs and schedule of the project to ensure it delivers benefits to passengers, the economy and represents value for money for the taxpayer.
'This work is ongoing. We expect Allan Cook to provide his final assessment in due course.'
An HS2 spokesperson said: 'We don't comment on leaks or speculation. We have previously noted that our chair, as you would expect, continues to scrutinise the programme, and regularly reports back to the Department [for Transport].
'We are determined to deliver a railway that rebalances the economy, creates jobs, boosts economic growth and is value for money for taxpayers.'
Mr Cook was appointed to head HS2 in December 2018.