More pressure has been piled on the Government to deliver HS2 in the North – and a stop in Carlisle – in a new report from industry leaders.

Conservative MP for Carlisle, John Stevenson, is among the contributors to the “HS2 North West Voices” report published by the High Speed Rail Industry Leaders (HSRIL) body.

In it, Mr Stevenson says the controversial line would boost Cumbria’s economy and cement the city’s position as the regional capital for the county and the wider Borderlands region.

He argues delivering the line in full – with the western stretch extended to Glasgow – would reduce the “inequalities of prosperity and opportunity between the North and the South” and ensure “every part of our country is firing on all cylinders”.

Mr Stevenson’s call comes as the publication of the Oakervee review of the HS2 project has been pushed back indefinitely.

The review – which will be used to inform the Government’s decision on the next steps for the project – had been due to be published by the middle of October but, according to reports, author Douglas Oakervee needs more time to complete it.

Speculation has been rife that the report will recommend the western stretch of HS2 be downgraded and the eastern line between Birmingham and Leeds scrapped all together due to the spiralling costs of the project – believed to stand at £103 billion.

Any link to Glasgow, and Cumbria, would fall in the third phase of work, with HS2 trains using the existing West Coast Mainline north of Wigan.

In his submission to the report, Mr Stevenson, said: “If we have HS2 all the way to Glasgow, it is quite clear that the logical place for a stop is Carlisle.

“That would reemphasise the importance of Carlisle as a regional capital. HS2 would make Carlisle a highly significant transport hub for the economy of the whole region.

“Carlisle is a gem. People do not realise it is a great place to work, lovely environment, and that business opportunities are enormous.

“It (HS2) will put Carlisle on people’s radar, and opportunities to attract both business and people would be greater.”

On the thorny issue of the costs of HS2, Mr Stevenson said he understood “that you’ve got to get value for money”, but added: “What are the alternatives?

“How are we going to deal with lack of capacity? How are we going to deal with balancing the economy and improving our journey times? The conclusion will be there are none. Therefore, HS2 is the right thing to do.”

The HSRIL report – which includes the opinions of both Conservative and Labour MPs – sets out nine reasons why HS2 should be delivered in full.

They include boosting capacity, taking freight off the roads – in the process cutting CO2 emissions – fuelling growth and productivity, creating jobs and lead to more homes and investment in local communities.

On journey times, the line would slash the three hour and 15 minute journey time between Carlisle and London to just two-and-a-half hours, the report says.

Calls have grown in recent months for HS2 to be delivered, along with at least a stop in Carlisle, and uncertainty continues to swirl around the project.

The Northern Powerhouse Partnership, CBI, Transport for the North, have all pressed home the benefits of the scheme to “turbo charging” the North’s economy, while Carlisle City Council leader, Councillor John Mallinson, has demanded a stop in the city.

However, under current proposals there are no plans for a stop in the county – with Cumbria Chamber of Commerce lobbying hard for high speed trains observe the current West Coast Mainline stop pattern of Carlisle, Penrith and Oxenholme The Lake District.

While some do not think three stops is realistic, support continues to gather for one in Carlisle, with the ambitious Carlisle Station Gateway plan set to make the hub “HS2 ready”.