Campaigners are set to hand over a petition in London to keep the East Coast rail line, which runs through York, in public ownership.

The petition, organised by campaign group We Own It and signed by more than 23,000 rail passengers, calls for the line to remain in public ownership.

It is the only remaining publicly-owned line in the UK, and MPs from across the political spectrum have given their support to the campaign to keep it so.

More than 60 MPs from Labour, the Liberal Democrats, Green and Scottish National (SNP) parties have signed an early day motion calling on the Government not to re-privatise East Coast.

Campaigners will hand over their petition to Lilian Greenwood, Labour’s shadow rail minister, and Caroline Lucas of the Green Party today to coincide with the second hearing of a private members bill on nationalisation of the railways.

Cat Hobbs, from We Own It, said: “We’re asking the Secretary of State to listen to more than 23,000 East Coast users who are sending him a direct message: ‘hands off our railway’. The government needs to call a halt to this reckless gamble with a successful and publicly run business which has handed over £600m back to the Treasury.”