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HS2 railway, UK – why the country needs it

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High Speed Two (HS2) will be the new backbone of the UK rail network, connecting eight out of ten of the largest cities. Cities are drivers of economic growth, but those in the Midlands and the North are held back by poor connectivity. HS2 will help to rebalance the economy. Demand for rail travel has more than doubled over the past 20 years, and continues to grow. Rail lines serving London, Birmingham and Manchester are under particular pressure, with overcrowding and unreliability. The government is investing £40 billion in the existing network, but capacity shortages remain. HS2 will take pressure off the existing network and add capacity where it is needed most, providing connectivity to support a twenty-first century economy. HS2 will create 30 000 jobs during construction and 3000 jobs in operation. By bringing new investment, employment and regeneration to cities, HS2 can support hundreds of thousands of jobs. The new National Colleges for High Speed Rail will deliver the skills for HS2 and a skills legacy. HS2 is being designed to minimise environmental impacts. It will set new standards in passenger experience and reliability in the UK. It will deliver value for money for taxpayers, with benefits more than double the costs.