Trains 'used by richer commuters'

Train travel tends to be more of an option for people on higher incomes, the UK Transport Secretary has admitted.

Philip Hammond described railway services as something of a "rich man's toy", with train users boasting "significantly higher incomes than the population as a whole" on average.

With many travellers investing in car insurance and driving to work, Mr Hammond suggested that "eye-wateringly expensive" fares need to be tackled in order for travellers on lower incomes to access railway services.

Despite these claims, the politician added that the planned HS2 high-speed link would be likely to benefit lower earners indirectly, along with wealthier train users.

Mr Hammond made his remarks after he was asked questions about the affordability of the Government's plans to develop the HS2 project.

He suggested that the high-speed line between London and Birmingham would likely appeal to the same kinds of commuters who already use the West Coast Mainline.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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