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Along with my Edinburgh col- leagues Sheila Gilmore MP and Mark Lazarowicz MP, we cam- paigned against privatisation with a visit to Waverley Station in July.

Earlier this year, the govern-

ment announced a new timetable of competitions to decide which companies run which train services across the UK over the next ten years.

The big headline from the

announcement was that the com- petition for the East Coast Main

Line – which links Edinburgh with Newcastle, York and London – had been brought forward so that a new private operator would be in charge from February 2015 – three months before the next general election. When the previous operator,

National Express, collapsed in 2009, the then Labour govern- ment took over running services. And while at the time this was seen as a temporary measure, the success of East Coast – with im- proved services, and profits being kept for public benefit rather than

shareholders’ – has highlighted the advantages of keeping this line – whisper it – nationalised. The East Coast line has per-

formed much better in the public sector than when privately operat- ed. It has returned resources to the public purse and that progress is best continued in public ownership. Travellers and the tax payer de- serve nothing less.’ You can sign the petition by

visiting tMainLine.

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