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Government refuses to deny claims HS2 may not run into central London, as Labour peer suggests it should be scrapped

The Government has refused to confirm that HS2 will reach its central London terminus at Euston following reports that it may be delayed or scrapped.

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HS2 might not reach Euston?

The Sun newspaper said soaring inflation means that the high speed rail project may not run to Euston until 2038 - or be scrapped completely, with trains instead stopping at a new hub at Old Oak Common in west London's suburbs.

Instead commuters would have to finish their journeys into central London by using the Elizabeth Line.

The paper also reported that a two-to-five-year delay to the entire project is being considered.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: "The Government remains committed to delivering HS2 to Manchester, as confirmed in the autumn statement.

"As well as supporting tens of thousands of jobs, the project will connect regions across the UK, improve capacity on our railways and provide a greener option of travel."

The project has been dogged by criticism over its financial and environmental impact.

In October of last year, Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove suggested capital investment for HS2 would be reviewed, but Chancellor Jeremy Hunt subsequently backed the project.

The target cost of Phase One between London and Birmingham was £40.3 billion at 2019 prices.

A budget of £55.7 billion for the whole of HS2 was set in 2015.

Labour peer Lord Berkeley, who in 2019 was deputy chairman of a government-commissioned review into HS2, believes the entire project should be scrapped.

He told the PA news agency: "The alternative in the news this morning is using Old Oak Common as a terminal station, which would work for half the number of trains that they want with a bit of redesign, but it wouldn't do the lot.

"There's not enough space for it so they couldn't do it except maybe a shuttle service from Birmingham.

"What's the point of building HS2 just to get to Birmingham?

"I think the whole thing should be cancelled."

He claimed investment in the project would be "much better spent on improving the railway lines in the North, East and West, than going to London a bit quicker".