IT was originally supposed to be an ambitious infrastructure project connecting London to northern England’s major towns and cities.

But following delay after delay, and increasingly skyrocketing costs, it looks like the chances of HS2 even reaching Leeds are looking shaky.

Westminster leaks have indicated for months that the UK Government will scrap plans to extend the high-speed rail project to the West Yorkshire city via the proposed “eastern leg”.

While the Department for Transport denies any final decisions have been made, the latest Sunday Mirror edition features an anonymous source saying: “There’s no way we’re going to see this built in our lifetimes.” 

The original plan for HS2 was for a line to open between London and Birmingham by 2026, with a second V-shaped route connecting to Manchester and Leeds to launch about six years later.

READ MORE: Edinburgh student Emily Frood to open Edinburgh's first lesbian bar

But thanks to numerous delays, HS2’s first phase is not expected to be completed until 2028-2031 with the second part pushed back to 2035-2040.

The troubled high-speed rail project was originally supposed to cost £56 billion – but last year a leaked UK Government transport review revealed the figure now standards at more like £106bn.

Tracy Babin, Labour mayor for West Yorkshire, expressed her concerns over the possibility that the plan to bring the railway to Leeds may not be realised.

“The Government cannot talk about levelling up and a commitment to the north without addressing the decades of underinvestment across our transport networks,” she said.

READ MORE: SNP head at Westminster warns Scotland must not lose out on benefits of HS2

“The eastern leg of HS2 is essential to providing the rail services that work for our communities, as part of a joined-up transport system that connects people to better jobs, better education, and more opportunities.”

Meanwhile Henri Murison, the director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said failing to bring HS2’s western and eastern legs would see the project “undermined in achieving its full economic benefits”.