TRAIN services in and out of Hull were seriously disrupted yesterday after thieves stole cable from tracks in the west of the city.
Northern Rail services were delayed and First TransPennine Express services were unable to operate between Brough and Hull, while freight services were also suspended.
Workers had been repairing the line after the discovery of the theft of a 10-metre stretch of cable on Hessle Road on Thursday night
But when they attempted to power up again, they discovered two more sections of cable had been stolen from either side.
Network Rail said disruption was expected to continue into the evening.
First TransPennine Express, which laid on buses for passengers between Selby and Hull, estimates that cable theft has cost them £300,000 in East and West Yorkshire in the past year.
So far more than 35,000 people have signed an online petition calling for a change in the law to put an end to cash in hand payments for scrap.
Supporters say the current system makes it easier for criminals because there is no audit trail, making it difficult to identify those who may be trading stolen metal or who may be committing tax or benefits fraud.
They are asking for an amendment to the Scrap Metal Merchants Act 1964 to make payment by cheque or directly into a bank account mandatory.
Meanwhile four men have been charged following an investigation into the theft of metal from York Racecourse.
The suspects were arrested a month ago after reports that railings were being cut up with a saw and loaded onto the back of a van at the bottom of Cherry Lane, near the Holiday Inn.
The van and the metal were seized and the four suspects, all local men aged 18, 20, 23 and 34, have now been charged with criminal damage and theft.
They are due to appear at York Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday November 30.