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HS2 'will benefit all sections of the labour market'

Wed 14 Sep 2011

Addressing MPs on the Transport Select Committee, transport secretary Philip Hammond argued that the proposed high-speed rail network in England will create benefits for people working at every level of the labour market.

According to Mr Hammond, the cost of travelling on the HS2 network might deter some of the country's lowest earners from using it.

However, he insisted that they would still directly benefit from it in other ways.

For instance, Mr Hammond suggested that a Manchester-based sales director could easily use HS2 to travel to Heathrow and head overseas to bring in lucrative new orders, thereby helping a factory worker at the same company stay in a job.

However, he acknowledged that the price of travelling on the high-speed rail network is likely to be similar to the "eye-wateringly expensive" fares charges on major routes such as the West Coast Main Line.

Mr Hammond said it is an "uncomfortable fact" that the average railway user has an above-average income.

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