Patrick McLoughlin has said HS2 is the solution for the "clogged arteries of our transport system."
In a speech today the Transport Secretary said: "The reason we need HS2 isn't for its speed, though speed is an obvious benefit."
"HS2 will allow you to get from Birmingham to Leeds in 57 minutes.
"The main reason we need HS2 is the heart bypass for the clogged arteries of our transport system.
"It will lift the burden from our overcrowded system."
More top news
Dry start, with some brighter spells. However turning breezy, with rain spreading east during the morning.
A rather cloudy and wet day with rain, sometimes heavy, spreading northeast through the morning
A halal butchers in Walsall has been left badly damaged in a fire-bomb attack. Detectives say they are keeping an 'open mind'.