Business and political leaders in Cumbria say a review of the HS2 scheme announced by the Government must result in high speed trains stopping in the county.

The Government has commissioned an independent review into HS2, which will analyse whether and how the project should continue.

Former HS2 Ltd chairman Douglas Oakervee will lead the inquiry, with Lord Berkeley - a long-term critic of the high-speed railway scheme - acting as his deputy.

The Department for Transport said the review will consider a number of factors relating to HS2, including its benefits, impacts, affordability, efficiency, deliverability, scope and phasing.

A final report will be sent to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps - with oversight from Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Sajid Javid - by the autumn.

This will "inform the Government's decisions on next steps for the project", according to the DfT.

Cumbria Chamber of Commerce has been lobbying for high speed trains to stop in Cumbria as part of the scheme.

Although the new high-speed line is not projected to go any further north than Wigan, HS2 trains will continue over existing tracks to Glasgow and Edinburgh.

As things stand, proposed HS2 services from London to Scotland will operate non-stop through Cumbria forcing passengers to change at Preston.

The chamber has written to First Trenitalia, which has just been awarded the new West Coast Partnership franchise, and has been lobbying the Government arguing for HS2 trains to stop in Cumbria.

It wants services to observe the current stopping pattern, which sees every train call at Carlisle and many at Penrith and Oxenholme.

Chamber chief executive Rob Johnston said: "We are very supportive of HS2 with the major proviso that we get the stops in Cumbria that we have been lobbying for.

"It's really important, because without these stops there is a real danger that in Cumbria that we will end up going backwards.

"If the review decides against HS2 it is going to be very interesting to see what Government can do to deliver the capacity that HS2 delivers."

He said HS2 would provide a link into the Northern Powerhouse rail scheme, with knock-on benefits for Cumbria, and had the potential to be a boon to the county's tourism industry.

"If it doesn't happen and we don't get a plan B then what on Earth are they going to do to get the capacity that we are clearly going to need?" said Rob.

However, he said the review could represent a chance to push the importance and potential benefits of Cumbria being part of the scheme.

"It's incumbent on us and others to get behind this and make sure we are stating our case in the strongest way possible," he said.

Echoing his remarks, Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron said: “HS2 is far from perfect. It needs to have greater transparency and accountability so the public know what’s happening with their money, but that doesn’t mean the project should be consigned to the scrapheap.

“Building better infrastructure across the North is vital if we’re to rebalance our economy. HS2 is vital to do this.

“But if it is to work for the whole of the North then one of the key things that needs to come out of this review is that these high-speed trains simply must be able to take people to Britain’s second biggest visitor destination.”

The launch of the review comes amid growing concern that HS2 cannot be built to its current specification within the £55.7 billion budget.

Mr Shapps said: "The Prime Minister has been clear that transport infrastructure has the potential to drive economic growth, redistribute opportunity and support towns and cities across the UK, but that investments must be subject to continuous assessment of their costs and benefits.

"That's why we are undertaking this independent and rigorous review of HS2.

"Douglas Oakervee and his expert panel will consider all the evidence available, and provide the department with clear advice on the future of the project."

Mr Oakervee said: "The Prime Minister has asked me to lead this important review into the HS2 programme.

"I am looking forward to working with my deputy, Lord Berkeley, to advise the Government on how and whether to progress with HS2, based on all existing evidence."