HS2 rail link 'can be cheaper'

Network Rail chief executive Sir David Higgins is to take over next year as chairman of HS2. He says the project can be cheaper if it's built quicker.

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HS2 can be 'on time and in budget'

The new boss of the HS2 project today insisted he won't let the project become a political football. Sir David Higgins will be in charge of the proposed new high speed rail line that will link London with Birmingham and the North.

Previously in charge of the London Olympic authority -- he insists he can bring the project in on time and on budget.Our Political Correspondent Simon Harris reports.

Higgins: HS2 can be cheaper if it's built quicker

New HS2 boss Sir David Higgins says his argument to win support is "what's the alternative?".

Sir David Higgins Credit: PA Wire

Higgins: "Transport is the centre to all forms of regeneration... In the south it's about capacity, in the north reconnectivity."

Higgins adds that HS2 will fail if it's a political football and believes it can be cheaper if it's built quicker.

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HS2 'vital for passengers & economy' says new boss

I am delighted to be taking up this role. Working at Network Rail I know the challenges we have ahead with capacity on the railways - they are real and we need to take action now. I also know the significant benefits that improved journey times between our northern cities will bring not just to the north, but the UK economy as a whole.

HS2 is the right solution. It is vital for both passengers and the economy and will put the UK in a different league in terms of infrastructure. My first priority will be to rigorously scrutinise costs to ensure they remain under control.

HS2 presents a strategic opportunity for this country and I am determined to make sure we take it by delivering a railway that will allow business and communities to prosper in the long term

– Sir David Higgins, Chief Executive of Network Rail and New HS2 boss

Outgoing HS2 chair 'proud of all I have achieved'

I believe HS2 is vital to the growth of the UK economy and will deliver the capacity our rail network sorely needs. Sir David is the right man to continue the delivery of this project.

I am delighted at his appointment and am confident that alongside Alison Munro our Chief Executive he will continue to drive the scheme forward.

I am proud of all that I have achieved, particularly that we will be bringing the Hybrid Bill to Parliament by the end of the year, after which I will be standing down.

I am pleased to have been able to play a key role in delivering this project which will serve the country for many generations to come.

– Doug Oakervee, Outgoing HS2 Chairman

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