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More than 300 HS2 staff paid six-figure sums, new figures show

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HS2 paid 318 officials at least £100,000 in salary and perks last year, up from 155 in 2015-16, according to The Times.

HS2 proposed route image

More than 300 people working for the HS2 high-speed rail link are paid six-figure sums, it has been reported.

HS2 paid 318 officials at least £100,000 in salary and perks last year, up from 155 in 2015-16, according to The Times.

The newspaper said figures, released under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, show that 112 staff receive more than £150,000 a year, with 15 topping £251,000 a year.

An HS2 Ltd spokeswoman said: “In a highly technical project of the scale and complexity of HS2 it is necessary to employ the right level of expertise and knowledge to deliver the programme successfully.

“As the project moves increasingly towards construction, as does our need for highly technical support increase.

“HS2 Ltd is committed to controlling costs and take our responsibility to taxpayers money very seriously, and the programme remains on track and within our funding envelope.”

HS2 said it publishes the number of people who earn above a salary of £150,000.

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The figures released in the FOI use total remuneration including pension contributions, and is not their salary, the company added.

HS2 northern extension: eastern leg Birmingham to Leeds
(PA Graphics)

Phase 1 of the £55.7 billion high-speed railway will open between London and Birmingham in December 2026.

A second Y-shaped phase of HS2 will launch in two stages.

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Phase 2a from the West Midlands to Crewe will begin in 2027, followed by Phase 2b from Crewe to Manchester, and Birmingham to Leeds, in 2033.

The project has proved controversial, with green campaigners voicing concerns about potential damage to the environment as well as MPs attacking spiralling costs and delays.

A Government spokesman said: “We are keeping a tough grip on costs and the HS2 project remains on budget at £55.7bn.

“As the future backbone of our national rail network, HS2 is vital for delivering better connections between our major cities with faster and more frequent services, acting as a catalyst for jobs, housing and economic growth.

“As this significant project moves towards construction, it is essential that HS2 Ltd continues to increase its workforce, attracting the world-class skills and expertise necessary to deliver the project successfully.”

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