LIB Dem Euro MP Chris Davies says the proposed High Speed 2 rail link could become a ‘white elephant’.

The MEP says while he previously supported the scheme, increased costs mean it now needs to be analysed again.

He said: “There are many alternative ways of providing our existing rail network with extra capacity it needs, and they could benefit a greater number of rail travellers.

"There are genuine fears that business travel could fall due to the availability of videoconferencing and improved technology. If that happens HS2 could end up as a white elephant.”

Mr Davies is calling for the modernisation of the signalling system to allow the Pendolino tilting trains to travel to London from Liverpool, Manchester, Warrington and Preston at 140mph.

He wants new flyover junctions so that train paths are not blocked, tracks to be widened at pinch points, longer passenger trains, the re-opening of the former main line from Manchester through the Peak District to the Midlands, and upgrading of other routes for freight.

He added: “Proponents of HS2 need to make a stronger case for spending up to £50 billion on a new rail line when that cash could be used to reduce the deficit or be spent on schemes that will generate more jobs.”