Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said in a speech at the Institute of Civil Engineers that council leaders in Birmingham and Nottingham support HS2.
Speaking today he said: "In Britain we try to patch up what we've already got, we haven't built a new train line north of London for at least 120 years.
"But there is a point when patching up is not enough, you just don't get the capacity.
"We're reaching that point on the links between the cities and into them, which is why HS2 is part, and I stress, just part, on the investment we need to make.
"The sort of investment which has wide political backing from city council leaders in places like Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Nottingham."
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