Plans for high speed rail services between London and Birmingham are going back to the drawing board after the Government said it wanted to examine the case for running trains directly to Paris.
The new Government is to review the findings of a previous government study published earlier this year which recommended building a new high speed line with trains running at 225mph.
Ministers want to reconsider the case for a direct link with Eurostar services to France and Belgium.
An earlier study, published in March while Labour was in office, ruled this out as too expensive.
The new Government also wants to ensure that high speed rail services run to Heathrow Airport in London – something which again was ruled out in the original plans.
High Speed Rail was included in the Queen’s Speech, but there will be no immediate legislation.
Detailed documents published to accompany the Queen’s Speech said: “We will also actively study the options for a link between the new high speed line and the existing High Speed One line, which links London to the Channel Tunnel.”
The inquiry set up by Labour considered a range of options for creating a link, including sending high speed services from Birmingham to St Pancras station in London, the home of Eurostar, or creating a light rail system linking St Pancras and Euston, where domestic high speed services will stop.
But it concluded that all these options were too expensive, adding an estimated £1 billion to the £34 billion cost.
The report was also against sending trains directly to Heathrow, calling instead for the creation of a new interchange station at Old Oak Common, west London.
However, the new administration also wants to review this decision.
It means that a formal consultation, due to begin in the autumn, could be delayed as plans are redrawn.
Construction is due to begin in 2019. But business leaders welcomed the confirmation that the Government is determined to press ahead with high speed rail.
James Watkins, executive director of Business Voice WM, said: “The business community across the West Midlands region supports a high speed rail line between London and Birmingham and onwards towards Glasgow and Edinburgh.
“This scheme would be the largest civil engineering project for the West Midlands since Junction 6 of the M6 was opened in 1972.”
Birmingham International Airport also welcomed the high speed line as a major boost to regional airports, on top of Government plans to scrap the third runway at Heathrow.
John Morris, Birmingham Airport’s head of government and industry affairs, said: “We have plenty of capacity and, linked to high-speed rail, we are uniquely positioned to attract passengers from the overheated South-east.Birmingham is famous for chocolate, cars, canals, culture – and lots more.
‘‘We are perfectly placed for those visitors from abroad who want to experience all that the region, and further afield, has to offer.”
The boost for the West Midlands came after a a major road upgrade to cut congestion in Birmingham and the Black Country was put on ice, as part of the Government’s £6.2 billion war on Whitehall waste.
The high-tech scheme would have introduced hard shoulder running on the M6 from junction five, near Castle Vale, Birmingham, to junction eight, in Walsall. It has been shelved for now but could be looked at again in the future.