NETWORK Rail has spoken out against the people responsible for an attempted theft which delayed hundreds of commuters yesterday morning.
The company’s managing director of network operations, Robin Gisby, believes the crime, in which a wire at a signal box between Littlehampton and Ford was cut but not removed, could cost the rail network hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The incident took place at about 12.10am yesterday, and saw trains between Brighton and Portsmouth cancelled or delayed by up to 25 minutes.
Mr Gisby said: ‘Yet again, mindless thieves have caused delays and disruption for thousands of commuters.
‘The costs incurred are likely to run to tens if not hundreds of thousands of pounds, money we would otherwise spend on improving and maintaining our rail network.
‘Cable theft is a huge issue which the rail industry is committed to tackling but we can’t do it alone. We need tougher sentences for cable thieves in the courts and police must be given powers to shut down the scrap dealers who are profiting from the public’s misery.’