A LEADING business lobby group has urged the government to abandon its controversial high-speed rail project after labelling it as 'one grand folly'.

The Institute of Directors (IoD) said a survey of its members showed businesses remained unconvinced by the economic case for HS2.

"We agree with the need for key infrastructure spending, but the business case for HS2 simply is not there," said the IoD's director general, Simon Walker.

"It's time for the government to look at a thousand smaller projects instead of falling for one grand folly."

The government says it expects the project to cost £42.6billion, but the Institute of Economic Affairs, a think tank, has suggested it could rise to more than £80billion.

The Department for Transport (DfT) also claims the project will generate £50billion in benefits to the UK economy, helping job creation and creating investment opportunities.

But the IoD said a survey of its members showed that just 27 per cent felt the project represented good value for money.

The line is intended to link London to Birmingham by 2026, with branches to Manchester and Leeds, via Sheffield and through Barnsley, planned by 2032.

What do you think? Are you in favour of the plans? What do you think to the predicted costs? Too much? Worth it for the potential future benefits to the economy? Have your say below.