IT HAS been revealed that the budget for the second phase of HS2 has risen by £3.2billion after Winsford MP Antoinette Sandbach investigated the budget.

The MP for the Eddisbury constituency asked parliament for a breakdown of the budget for the second phase of the proposed high speed rail, which will run from London to Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester.

Antoinette received an answer to her parliamentary question and the breakdown shows that the budget has risen from £21.2billion in 2013 to £24.4billion.

Antoinette said she is concerned at the ‘significant additional cost’ to taxpayers.

She said: “I am pleased to be provided with the detailed cost breakdowns for the project, which had not previously been released, but I am concerned to see a rise of over £3.2billion for Phase 2 since 2013 which is a significant additional cost to the taxpayer.”

The budget is split into £20.7billion for Phase 2b of HS2, from Crewe to Manchester and Leeds, and £3.7billion for Phase 2a of HS2, from Birmingham to Crewe.

Antoinette added: “I am particularly concerned about the impact of the route in my constituency of Eddisbury in Cheshire.

“The current preferred route goes through the Cheshire Salt Mine District and the whole area is riddled with current and historic mine workings and prone to subsidence. I hope that we will not see costs rise further due to the challenges of building HS2 in Eddisbury and I will be working with HS2 to understand what work has been done in relation to costing this part of the route.

“It is unclear how keeping costs down can be reconciled with building HS2 safely through an area with the geotechnical challenges that this part of Eddisbury has.”