Businesses in the town centre were badly affected by a series of power cuts last week which meant many restaurants had to close for several nights.
Mexican restaurant Casa Morita, Cannon & Cannon deli, Sainsburys and Iceland were all plunged into darkness by the power interruptions which occurred on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Electricity network operator UK Power Networks has apologised to about 30 customers in the Electric Avenue area for a repeating fault on the underground network which caused the blackout.
James Barber, spokesman for UK Power Networks, said: “engineers have reconfigured the local network to narrow down the chance of any more interruptions and continue to monitor the situation to ensure customers have the usual reliable supply of electricity.”
Customers affected, including residents, are eligible for a payment as a result of the faults. Barber said: “As a gesture of goodwill, UK Power Networks has chosen to increase the standard payment to £100 (from the standard £54) for residential customers, and businesses can claim £108, if it takes us more than 18 hours to restore power.”
Nicholas Balfe, who runs Salon restaurant in Market Row, said: “It was hugely disruptive. It created big complications for us in terms of safe storage of food and provisions and meant lost trade since we weren’t able to open for two services. Losses could have been greater if we had not been able to store perishable stock in our neighbours’ fridges (thanks Wild Caper!)
“Hopefully the problem is now resolved, but the thought of further issues with the power supply is a worrying one. If we had lost power for any longer than we did, then the knock on effect could have been far more severe. The compensation that is offered seems very meagre when you consider that disruption and potential lost earnings.”