7th June 2011
The last winter wasn't the greatest time to be a commuter. On numerous – i.e too many to mention – occasions my journey to and from work was delayed thanks to a combination of bad weather, points failures and other incidents.
While bad weather may, in terms of commuter compensation, be classed as an 'Act of God' many reasons for my – and thousands of others – delayed journies were very much man made.
The price of copper and other commodities has been riding high all year, as shown by a Mindful Money report . Unfortunately it also looks like thieves are taking note. Theft of copper from Britain's railways is reaching epidemic proportions, costing the operator Network Rail millions of pounds as it takes on extra staff to catch the criminals and pays out compensation to train companies for delays on the system.
Copper theft from railway lines jumped by 67% to 3,116 incidents in the year to April as metal prices have soared and Britain's stumbling recovery from recession has continued to push impoverished groups into crime, according to the British Transport Police.
But Network Rail maintenance staff working in the worst-hit areas – which are centred around the former steel city of Sheffield – say the number of incidents has jumped even higher in the past three weeks, prompting the company to introduce a new night shift for beleaguered staff.
See also: The Commodities Bubble Explained