A further £43bn should be spent on schemes beyond HS2 to improve links in big cities and 'make the most' of the project, the Government's top infrastructure adviser has said.
Sir John Armitt, chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, warned it was not enough to 'simply construct a new high-speed rail line and leave it at that'.
The project already has a budget of around £56bn but is already being plagued by accusations of cost overspends, some of which are alleged to have been hushed up.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Sir John said: 'To get the biggest bang for our buck we need to think about the whole journey that passengers will take.'
Passengers of HS2 would still in many cases face 'inadequate public transport links and congestion on the roads as they try to get from A to B'.
He proposed a £43bn funding boost through devolved infrastructure budgets in the fastest-growing and most congested cities outside London. Projects could include trams and rapid bus networks.
'All of this would mean the UK’s cities outside London receive a £43bn boost in funding up to 2040, on top of current spending levels, and in addition to investment in Northern Powerhouse Rail and Crossrail 2,' he said.
Analysis by the Financial Times suggests the project has already cost £4.1bn with construction yet to begin.