I believe David Kirk is wrong to say discussion on the extension northwards of HS2 will be little more than a distraction for the foreseeable future (Letters, February 1).

Fast and reliable links with London will continue to be a necessity regardless of the outcome of next year's referendum.

Moreover, the development offers the prospect of overnight sleepers from Scotland to the continent.

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Clearly, this would not just happen: a route around London would be required (although not necessarily at high speed) and the route would require to meet international train security standards. It would also be desirable for the route to accommodate continental-size trains to make the most of the European network.

While the finance and commitment required would be considerable, I believe the rewards in terms of providing our business people with direct access to the continent and European visitors with convenient travel to Scotland would far exceed the costs.

Mungo Bovey,

5 Mary's Place,

Edinburgh.