Consultant has been working on railway since 2009

The extent of the financial hit consultants and contractors will take if HS2 is cancelled has been revealed in the amount Atkins has picked up from the scheme in the past decade.

The project is currently the subject of a review being carried out by its former chairman Doug Oakervee. One of the options being considered is whether to pull the plug on the project entirely.

Answering a written question from Tory MP and HS2 critic Dame Cheryl Gillan, whose Chilterns constituency the line is set to run through, HS2 minister Paul Maynard said Atkins has been paid £86.5m for its work on the job since 2009.

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“This principally relates to engineering work on phase one of the project," he added.

The firm has also been paid an additional £827,000 from the Department for Transport for its work on the HS2 hybrid bill covering phase one of the route between London and Birmingham.

Atkins is part of a joint venture with CH2M, bought by US rival Jacobs at the end of 2017, that was named engineering delivery partner for phase 1 in 2016, a £250m to £350m role, as well as a separate deal to provide BIM support on the project.

Atkins is also on HS2's professional services consultants’ framework for phase one.

And it also has a number of other roles including that of lead engineer on a 90km-long stretch of the route between the M25 and the Warwickshire border.