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."
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It will be another day of frequent sunny spells, brisk winds, and isolated showers.
Friday will remain cold in the breeze with a mixture of sunny spells and isolated showers.
Outbreaks of rain, sleet and some hill snow are forecast across the region through Saturday morning.