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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Dry for much of the day with possible brighter spells in the east. Outbreaks of rain will spread southwards later in the day.
Another rather cloudy and mild day. Although dry for most the odd spot of drizzle is possible, mainly over high ground.
D-Day veterans from the West Midlands were given France's highest honour today, 18 months after a pledge to award every living soldier.