Leader comment: Central belt megacity

Imagine a time when the capital of Scotland stretches from west to east across the central belt. Where Falkirk and Livingston are no longer towns but suburbs of the Glasburgh metropolis, a city of more than two million people which has swallowed up everything before it.

Could Princes Street one day become the other end of Sauchiehall Street?

A place where the very best of Edinburgh and Glasgow are brought together to compete against the biggest cities in Europe.

Professor Roy Thompson reckons he has seen the future – but not in our lifetime.

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Strong transport links between our cities are important but our two largest cities have unique identities which must be preserved. This is part of what makes Scotland rich and diverse. And a more interesting place to visit.

Neither wants to be joined to the other and our planning laws – despite the current pressure to build more houses – will ensure that does not happen.

Yes, it has happened in London, but there is no appetite here.

So, for now, the notion of Glasburgh will have to remain as that silly season story which pops up every Christmas.