CONSTRUCTION estimates for the HS2 Phase Two train line have shot up by 39 per cent in a development that has been described as ‘exceptionally worrying’.

The plans which propose to bring a train station to Leigh have been met with concerns.

Those concerns will be heightened after a committee of MPs were told last Thursday of the significant Phase Two price jump.

MP for Leigh Andy Burnham said: “This definitely adds to the concerns to see if this money is well spent. I reserve judgement until I see the plans, but they should open our area up.

“Leigh is the largest town in the UK without a station, but local people want to know how this will happen and how the money will be spent.

“The country could spend a lot of money on this but not address the problem.”

Leigh has not had a train station since four stations were closed in the 1950s and 60s.

In November it was announced that the overall cost of the Phase Two project – a planned high-speed railway line connecting the city centres of Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds that will run through Leigh and be delivered in two phases – had increased from £50.1 billion to £55.7 billion.

This made people question the project further.

Joe Rukin, campaign manager of the Stop HS2 Campaign, said: “In November we were told that the increase in costs of the HS2 project was a result of adding inflation, but now we can see that was simply not true.

“The fact the Phase Two construction estimate has spiralled by 39 per cent is exceptionally worrying, so it’s no wonder they wanted to keep this fact quiet.”

There is currently no finalised route for the Phase Two train line, which was originally promised for the autumn of 2014.