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For goodness sake, HS2 is nothing about reducing journey time, it is about increasing capacity. WCML is at full capacity, we need greater capacity between LondonBirminghamManchester just as we need more East to West along the M62 corridor and other key regional routes.

We cannot run on what is essentially patched up Victorian / Georgian infrastructure and expect a decent level of service, reliability and so on, moreover the differential cost between HS and 'standard' is marginal.

Welfare reform and economic policy are areas where there is a proper polarity of views, but to allude to HS2 as a valid comparator is a category error.

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