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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HS2 will mean 'restarting our life again'

The mother of a severely disabled son has told Daybreak how HS2 will force her "to restart our life again" if they are forced to move out of the home which was specifically adapted to meet her son's needs.

Thelma and her son Alexis, who live in the town of Northwich in Cheshire, are potentially in the pathway of HS2 and may have to move - something that will put a severe amount of stress on the pair.

Campaigners: HS2 costs an 'attempt to con the public'

Campaign manager for Stop HS2 campaign has said any "pretence" that costs of the High Speed rail network are under control are a "con".

Joe Rukin said: "David Higgins has spent three months looking for cost savings for HS2 and he hasn't found a single bean. Any pretence that the costs of HS2 are under control are a fraudulent attempt to con the public."

An anti HS2 sign in Whittington, Staffordshire. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

He added that the £50 billion cost was "always too low, and represents the cost if the whole project was built in one year and that year was 2011".

"We know that these costs will continue to escalate. The only answer is to cancel the project and go back to the drawing board right now," he said.


Sir David Higgins: HS2 'vital for the future' of UK

HS2 boss Sir David Higgins has said the project was "vital for the future of the country".He added: "The cost and impact have to be recognised and acknowledged, but so too do the cost and impact of doing nothing.

Sir David Higgins. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire/Press Association Images

"Without HS2, the people of this country will continue to face the failures of our transport system on a daily basis.

"This contingency has pushed the price of phase one, from London to Birmingham, up to £21.4 billion with £3 billion for the trains, while the cost of the second phase, taking the line in a Y-shape to north west and north east England is put at £21.2 billion with around £4.5 billion for the trains."

Labour welcomes greater HS2 connectivity in the north

Mary Creagh MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, responding to David Higgins’ report into HS2, has welcomed his strong focus on the steps the Government needs to take to get High Speed 2 back on track and ensure value for money".

David Higgins has made it clear that there are significant savings to be made if David Cameron gets a grip of this project and stops all these delays.

On Phase Two, we are glad that more work will be done to link HS2 with future rail investment and that the greater focus we have been calling for on connectivity between our northern cities has replaced the Government’s previous take it or leave it approach.

That is how we ensure the maximum benefits for the whole country from this project while we pressure the Government to keep the costs down.

– Mary Creagh MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary

HS2 boss to say he would like to start second phase

Launching his report in Manchester, Sir David Higgins, HS2's recently appointed chairman, will say that he would like work to start on the second phase at the same time as the first phase.

An anti HS2 sign in Whittington, Staffordshire. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The second phase, taking the line in a Y-shape to north west and north east England is set for completion around 2032/33. He is also expected to recommend a completely new station at Euston - the site for the line's London terminus.

Sir David, the former London Olympics supremo who has joined HS2 Ltd after being Network Rail chief executive, is also expected to recommend scrapping plans to link HS2 with HS1, the London to Kent coast Channel Tunnel high-speed line.

Cable: 'Compelling case' to speed up HS2 extension

Business Secretary Vince Cable has said there is a "compelling case" to speed up the extension of the controversial HS2 high speed rail link to the cities of the north.

Business Secretary Vince Cable with David Cameron at a 10 Downing Street reception last summer. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive/Press Association Images

His intervention came as HS2 chairman Sir David Higgins prepared to outline his plan for an accelerated construction timetable while reducing the cost of the #50 billion infrastructure project.

Sir David, who will publish his report on later, will also issue an appeal to the main political parties to unite behind the scheme.


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