IT is a highly ambitious project, but high speed rail between Scotland's two largest cities is one which will bring benefits to the whole country.

On its own it may well be one which could be open to question, but when it is part of an overall network including the UK's major cities, it is inconceivable that Scotland should be excluded.

Improvements to the current rail line between the two cities are already in the pipeline, in the £650m EGIP project bringing journey times down by ten minutes which is likely to continue to be used by most people travelling on the line.

But the important prize is the UK line and building the east-west line here places the onus on the UK Government to commit to bring the north-south line further to Scotland.

Glasgow cannot afford to be left out of these advancements in transport and it is to be welcomed that the Scottish Government is working with the councils in both cities to bring the high speed rail plan to fruition.

The costs are high, but the benefits are there in construction jobs and ensuring businesses are linked to UK markets.

If we can have a high speed line between London and Birmingham then why not between Glasgow and Edinburgh, but the aim must be UK wide connections.