BORIS Johnson's Conservative government will approve the controversial HS2 rail project today.

An announcement on the high speed route linking London to Birmingham, and then on to Manchester and Leeds, is expected on Tuesday.

It will not connect communities in the North-East and Cumbria, however, Mr Johnson has said the implementation of HS2 will boost their economies, and improve connectivity across the country.

The plan has divided opinion, with supports saying it will improve transport times, create jobs and rebalance the UK's economy.

However, the rising cost of the project and accusations of mismanagement, in addition to it not stretching to the North-East, has angered critics.

HS2 is due to be completed by 2040 but is already over budget and behind schedule.