In his new report for the government, called HS2 Plus, Sir David Higgins stresses the first stage of the project should be extended to Crewe, instead of merely Birmingham.
He said the construction of a new hub at Crewe was "the right strategic answer".
Accordingly, the second phase of HS2 could then be completed earlier than planned, by 2030 instead of 2033.
The transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, said Sir David "proposes to deliver benefits, particularly benefits to the Midlands and the North, more quickly".
According to him, HS2 Ltd and Network Rail will be urged to consider several of Sir David’s proposals in more detail.
This includes proposals to deliver benefits to the Midlands and the North, acceleration of Phase Two section to Crewe by 2027, not 2033, and to build a new integrated hub station at Crewe.
Following the launching of his report, the HS2 Chairman commented: "The more certainty there is about the timescale, the more possible it is to control cost through economies of scale. That is why getting clarity over the duration of the parliamentary process is key. The more clarity parliament can provide the more I can reduce contingency and therefore the ultimate cost.”
In response to the Higgins’ report, the Government has promised to consider a more grandiose scheme for Euston station, which includes re-creation plans of the once iconic Euston arch.
McLoughlin said: “I agree with the report that more can be made of Euston station.It is a significant opportunity to maximise the economic potential of the line and regenerate a site that has been neglected."
“I will, therefore, ask HS2 Ltd and Network Rail to develop more comprehensive proposals for the redevelopment of Euston, working with the rail industry and the local community.
“This work should include proposals for the Euston arch which should never have been knocked down and which I would like to see rebuilt.
“I will also commission a study into ways to improve connections to the continent that could be implemented once the initial stages of HS2 are complete.”
Photo: The Guardian