Osborne: No further spending on £50bn HS2

George Osborne welcomed David Higgins' recommendations for HS2 but warned there will be "no increases" on the £50 billion project. The boss of HS2 challenged politicians to pave the way for a faster building of the high-speed line to reduce spending.

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Government hopes HS2 bill will 'proceed quickly'

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin at the proposed site of the HS2 East Midlands Hub in Long Eaton Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Plans to speed up the development of HS2 and extend it to the north more quickly have been backed by the government.

Asked whether the coalition would take action to accelerate the passage of the HS2 Bill through Parliament, Prime Minister David Cameron's official spokesman said: "We want it to proceed as quickly as it can, but it is obviously a very lengthy Bill."

Earlier today, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said Sir David Higgins' proposals for HS2 had the "strong support" of the government.

The government has also scrapped a proposed £700m scheme to link HS2 with the existing HS1 route to Brussels.

The government will instead look at other ways of linking HS2 with the continent.

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