Council chiefs from Edinburgh and Glasgow have united in backing the case for high-speed rail to come to Scotland.
The Scottish Government has said it will spend up to £9 billion on a high-speed line, where 250mph trains could cut Edinburgh-London journey times to under three hours.
And 72.5 per cent of businesses have said it would benefit Scotland’s economy.
Edinburgh’s council leader Jenny Dawe said: “The case for including Scotland in the high-speed rail network is compelling. The evidence clearly shows that the maximum economic and environmental benefits for the UK can only be delivered if Scotland is included in the network.”
Glasgow council leader Gordon Matheson said there was a clear-cut case for starting construction of a cross-border route at both ends rather than building it in phases from London northwards.
He said: “If it begins in London alone, the project may never reach Scotland, limiting our access to major markets in England and Europe and restricting the growth of our economy.”