Britain's transport system will become "clogged" without HS2 and suffer under swelling passenger numbers, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin will say in a speech later today.
– Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin
The reason we need HS2 isn't for its speed, though speed is obviously a benefit. HS2 will allow you to get from Birmingham to Leeds in 57 minutes and from Manchester to London in 68.
The benefits of faster journeys are easy to explain. But speed is not the main reason for building the new railway.
The main reason we need HS2 is as a heart bypass for the clogged arteries of our transport system