They were granted an audience with transport minister Philip Hammond. I can't find any news yet as to what the result of that meeting was.
It's great to see that action is being taken. I do wonder though why it's taken so long to get to this point. The original plans were outlined by Labour's transport minister Lord Adonis last April. In December, his successor Hammond pretty much put a seal on the plans with tweaks in the route after the consultation.
This is something I banged on about a lot during the general election campaign. I can't understand why there has not been more outrage about this in Scotland. The UK government might be building at a snail's pace, but once it's done in 20 years, the interconnectivity between Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, London and Europe is going to leave Scotland badly out in the cold.
And we're not exactly in the thick of things at the moment. The last decade has seen a speeding up of the West Coast Mainline between London, Birmingham and Manchester with £10bn of investment. We already have a slower line running up here. It now takes 50% longer to go from Glasgow to Manchester than Manchester to London despite the journeys being equidistant.
Many people south or the border cannot therefore see the point of the plans to speed up journeys between Birmingham and London. Conservationists have been protesting loudly. The home counties have been up in arms. It would be much easier building in Scotland.
There should have been a much louder chorus demanding that the line be in Scotland. This was after all the assumed default position. Yorkshire ran a relentless campaign involving its MPs, councils, businesses and media to successfully gain exclusion at Scotland's expense. This despite Glasgow and Edinburgh also having the advantage that the environmental benefits of HSR only kick in if the line comes to Scotland because of the modal shift from air to rail.
Instead we've still got our newspapers like the Herald throwing up smoke on whether the UK or Scottish Government should pay, instead of running focused vigorous campaigns for HSR like the Yorkshire Post did. The obfuscation originally stemmed from the confusion of likes of Lord Adonis, Tom Harris and Jim Murphy. The constitutional lines are clear though.
I'd like to hear what the councils are now planning. My own suggestion is that all the stakeholders need to be brought into a room to plan a strategy. On the agenda could be the crossborder plans as well as building Scotland internal high speed future. It's high time that the Glasgow-Edinburgh line for one was brought into the 20th century, nevermind the 21st. If the UK government can plan its building programme into the 2030s then surely we can lay out a sustainable plan now too. We might even get it finished first.