About nine in ten Scots want inter-city rail services to be at least as fast as journeys by road, research has found.

Transform Scotland released the findings as it launched a new campaign brochure as part of its Inter-City Express campaign, which aims to improve rail travel north of the central belt.

The poll of more than 1,000 people asked the question "To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement: 'Journeys by rail between Scotland's cities should be at least as fast as those made by road?'", with 91 per cent of respondents agreeing and three per cent disagreeing.

Transform Scotland, which describes itself as a national sustainable transport alliance, called on the Scottish Government to commit to speeding up rail journeys north of the central belt.

It published the opinion poll ahead of Tuesday afternoon's parliamentary debate on Scotland's infrastructure.

Transform Scotland rail campaigner Paul Tetlaw said: "This opinion poll result clearly demonstrates that the vast majority of the Scottish public wants faster trains between our cities."

The Scottish Government said it is making rail travel more attractive and comfortable for those travelling between cities and at all other points on the Scottish rail network.

Those improvements include journey times between the biggest cities reduced to 42 minutes through the Edinburgh-Glasgow improvement programme and upgraded facilities at both ends of the line

Meanwhile, Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown said the upcoming general election gave Scots the chance to press the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats on the matter.

Mr Brown said the £50 billion HS2 high-speed rail project could be "transformative" for Scotland but added that the current plans mean the new service would "hit the buffers." in the north of England.

The Infrastructure Secretary, who is to raise the issue in Holyrood this afternoon, said research had indicated a high-speed link between Scotland and Manchester could generate almost £25 billion for the UK economy.

He called on the leaders of the three main parties at Westminster to "put their money where their mouth is" and support extending the route north.

Mr Brown said: "Delivering high-speed rail would be the biggest and most transformative transport infrastructure project for Scotland but current plans would see services hit the buffers in Leeds or Manchester.