Sir David Higgins has released a report today (Monday) calling for building work on the northern section of HS2 to be sped-up to keep costs down.

He said the speed that HS2 was passing through the legislative process was 'a risk' to the project, and urged legislators not to delay the project unduly.

Earlier this month, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin admitted the Hybrid Bill for the project will not be passed through Parliament before the next general election.

In his new report for the government, called HS2 Plus, Mr Higgins also suggested that the link between HS2 and the HS1 Channel Tunnel high-speed rail link at St Pancras be reconsidered to cut spending on the £50billion line.

The comments come a day after the government announced plans for a new commuter ‘garden city’ for the area around the HS1 station at Ebbsfleet.

Campaign group Stop HS2 claim this is a step to create jobs in the area which HS1 failed to do.

Stop HS2 campaign manager, Joe Rukin, said: “Sir David Higgins wants to say that high speed rail brings economic benefits, but the announcement that Ebbsfleet will now be home to a new dormitory suburb of London - because high speed rail there failed to deliver the economic growth which was promised - should be a warning to everyone thinking HS2 will be good for local economies.

“The evidence is clear, all HS2 will do is drag more economic activity to London.”