The head of the HS2 rail project said building work should start in the North of England at the same time as the South East, which would see high speed trains coming to Leeds by 2030, three years earlier than currently planned.
The £50 billion project will see trains travelling at 250mph, but would only go as far as West Yorkshire, leading to concerns that the North East would lose out economically.
The Northumberland MP Alan Beith said the comments were "good news" but that he would prefer improvements to the East Coast Mainline, which runs between London and Scotland via the North East.
More top news
The silver C Class Mercedes which had been reported earlier as suspected stolen was being pursued by Cleveland Police.
The pedestrian was hit by a grey VW Golf as he crossed Acklam Road at its junction with Trimdon Avenue just before 9pm on Friday night.
Stories of abuse of people in care made Julie and Paul Connaughton determined to provide a positive future for James, who has cerebral palsy