The cost of building a high-speed rail line from London to Manchester could cost the UK Government £27.5bn ($43bn), according to a report by auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (Pwc).

The report says that the annual government spending on the rail link would not exceed £1.7bn ($2.7bn) during the two years of peak capital expenditure, according to The Times.

The projected fare income on the line is projected to reach £73bn ($114bn) over a 31-year period between 2022 and 2053.

PWC’s report studies ways to fund and deliver the London-Manchester high-speed line and has been prepared for high-speed rail lobbying group Greengauge21.

The report comes ahead of a government-commissioned study by the High Speed Two company on London-Scotland high-speed link, expected to be published by the end of March.