I worry about Edinburgh and Scotland becoming marginalised due to the influence of devolution, so it is most reassuring to hear that Transport Secretary Lord Adonis is backing improvements which will see Edinburgh and London separated from each other by less than four hours.
When you factor in the time and hassle of getting to an airport, checking in and so on, travelling from the very centre of one capital to the heart of another for business or pleasure looks an enticing alternative. Let's hope the price of tickets will be competitive.
I look forward to boarding the new service when it starts, and I hope it can be as successful as its legendary predecessor.
Robert Brown, Ferry Road, Edinburgh
Traumatic time at the birth of child
ON READING the story "Hospital slammed over baby's brain damage" (News, 21 January) it comes as no surprise that something like this has happened.
My own experience of childbirth at the Simpson's Unit two years ago was less than satisfactory. In fact to describe it as pretty horrific would be more precise although fortunately my son was healthy when he arrived.
This was due to a lack of labour suites and communication problems between staff with each other as well as myself.
I would like to add that the second anaesthetist and the doctor who took over from the midwife were fantastic but it's a shame it took hours for them to arrive, by which time both myself and my son were extremely distressed.
Elaine Burt, Edinburgh
Don't panic over vermin control
FOLLOWING the article "Vermin 'explosion' blamed on full bins" (News, 20 January), residents should not be thrown into immediate panic.
Whilst infrequency of rubbish collection is a problem, as left over food makes a quick meal for rodents, there are steps residents can take to help reduce the risk of attracting unwanted visitors.
If outdoor rubbish bin space is limited, ensure that all food items that will attract rats are put in the bin first – packaging waste is less attractive to rodents.
If you do have to leave food scraps in a bin liner outside, put them in a plastic container.
Secure your rubbish bins as best you can and ensure that they are not adjacent to your property.
Savvas Othon, technical director, Rentokil
NHS board can make own choice
I WAS surprised to read your editorial (20 January) on health funding including the allegation that NHS Lothian is facing a budget cut in the battle to keep waiting times down. This is at complete odds with what the Scottish Government has actually given to the health board.
Next year, despite a cut in the amount of money given to the Scottish Government by Westminster, NHS Lothian's budget will increase from 987.1 million to 1,013.7m. That's up 26.6m (2.7 per cent).
When waiting times were high the Scottish Government insisted that a certain pot of money was used to tackle this problem. NHS Lothian's share of that pot was 3m.
That money has not been taken away and if NHS Lothian still wants to earmark 3m of its additional 26.6m for that purpose it can do so.
Shirley-Anne Somerville, MSP for Lothians, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh
Policing an issue on the doorsteps
MR McGREGOR is quite correct to say that policing is not a Westminster issue (Letters, 21 January.)
However, I included policing in my recent survey because it is mentioned to me by residents in Edinburgh South on a nightly basis when I knock on doors. While a Westminster MP does not make formal decisions on Scottish policing, they can seek opinion to pass on to others and they can seek to influence those who do make decisions.
Dr Neil Hudson, Conservative Westminster candidate for Edinburgh South, Mentone Gardens, Edinburgh