A crucial bill that will pave the way for construction to start on HS2’s northern section is to be pushed back by a year.
The Times reported that the submission of the hybrid bill for phase 2b, the line to Manchester and Leeds, will now not be submitted until 2020.
Transport secretary Chris Grayling previously said that he expected to submit the bill in 2019.
The delay was due to the need to link northern sections of HS2 to lines expected to be constructed as part of Northern Powerhouse Rail plans, the government said.
Northern Powerhouse Rail is a planned multi-billion-pound investment programme to improve links between the biggest cities in the North, including a network across the Pennines stretching from Liverpool to Hull.
A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: “In order to maximise the huge potential of HS2, it is important to make sure it takes full account of the emerging vision for the other transformative project of Northern Powerhouse Rail.
“We will update parliament as part of our consultation this autumn.”
The spokeswoman would not confirm how long it expected the delay to be, but insisted it would not have any impact on the 2033 opening date of the line.
Phase 2b represents the Y shape of the line from Birmingham to Leeds and Crewe to Manchester and is expected to cost £20.9bn.
Work was expected to start on this leg after it achieved royal assent in 2022.
Phase one of the line from London to Birmingham achieved royal assent in February, which granted HS2 permission to access land along the first phase of the route and commence construction work. The bill was originally deposited in November 2013.
Civils construction on phase one was expected to start in November this year but has been delayed until June 2018.
In February the Northern Powerhouse Partnership said that delivering the Northern Powerhouse Rail at the same time as HS2 phase two could lead to a £100bn economic boost for the North.