GREEN campaigners gathered at York Railway Station to urge travellers to oppose Government plans to re-privatise the East Coast service.

Members of York Green Party handed out leaflets and talked to passengers at the station at the weekend.

Andrew Coopers, the party’s lead candidate for the European Parliament in Yorkshire and Humber, claimed the recent announcement of three short-listed bidders for the East Coast franchise underlined the irony of the Government’s “ideological obsession” with privatisation.

Mr Coopers said: “The current three bidders include Keolis/Eurostar, which is owned by the French state. They are bidding to take over more UK rail services, whilst keeping their own railways firmly in the public sector where they provide high-quality services and rail fares at around a third of the cost in the UK.

“This is no way to run our railways.”

He said that since East Coast was made public in 2009, it had returned £800 million to the Government, whilst the private operators that came before it had failed to make the books balance.

York Green Party chair Denise Craghill said: “The Green Party in York is very pleased to support the campaign by rail unions and passenger groups to return our railways to public control.”