The government is set to approve the controversial High Speed 2 (HS2) rail project, the BBC has learned.

An announcement on the route linking London to Birmingham, and then on to Manchester and Leeds, is expected by the prime minister on Tuesday. 

Supporters of the plan say it will improve transport times, create jobs and rebalance the UK’s economy.

But the rising cost of the project and accusations of mismanagement have provoked anger from critics.

HS2 – which is due to be completed by 2040 – is already over budget and behind schedule.

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