THE Government has no plans to extend a high speed rail project to Essex, a minister has confirmed.

MP Sir Bob Russell tabled a written question in Parliament, asking if any recent assessment had been made of the economic benefits of extending High Speed Two to Colchester.

The £43billion project will link London with cities including Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, opening in 2026.

In response, transport minister Robert Goodwill confirmed no such assessment has taken place.

Mr Goodwill pointed out Colchester had been awarded £2million for sustainable transport measures as part of a recent South East Local Enterprise Partnership growth deal.