TRANSPORT Secretary Chris Grayling will give his clearest commitment yet to the second phase of the proposed HS2 high speed rail line today.
Mr Grayling will argue HS2 is needed to increase capacity on the railway between the Midlands and Leeds and Manchester.
The arrival of the Theresa May administration has raised questions over whether the Government will remain commited to HS2.
But Mr Grayling will underline the Government’s support for the project today.
Speaking in London, Mr Grayling will say: “We need HS2 now more than ever.
“We need it for the capacity it will bring on the routes between London, the West Midlands, Crewe, Leeds and Manchester, as well as the space it’ll create elsewhere on our transport network.
“We need it for the boost it will give to our regional and national economies.
“And we need it for the jobs it will create, and for the way it will link our country together.”
The legal measures needed to pave the way for the first phase of HS2 between London and Birmingham are already going through parliament but there is more wriggle room for ministers over the Y-shaped second phase connecting Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester.
However, Mr Grayling’s speech suggests the Government will press ahead with confirming the route for phase two and the station locations by the end of the year.