Misery for residents who live their lives in the dark

PUBLISHED: 12:09 31 January 2007 | UPDATED: 14:25 07 September 2010

Marijke Peters CONSTANT blackouts in a Muswell Hill road have sparked fury among residents. The electricity in Woodland Gardens has been cutting out at regular intervals since mid December. Power has been off at different times of the day for up to 14 hou

Marijke Peters

CONSTANT blackouts in a Muswell Hill road have sparked fury among residents.

The electricity in Woodland Gardens has been cutting out at regular intervals since mid December.

Power has been off at different times of the day for up to 14 hours in a go but electricity giant EDF Energy has still not solved the problem.

Hilary Murphy from Woodland Gardens said: "It can happen at any time, sometimes just as we are cooking dinner then I can't get the kids to bed because they can't see and are terrified because it's pitch black. Then in the middle of the night it all comes on again, the alarms start going off and the lights are suddenly blazing.

"It's a total nightmare and it's driving me mad. We've been complaining about this for a month and they haven't done anything at all."

Twenty-five households have been affected by the cuts, and self-employed and elderly residents have been hit particularly hard.

Marian Fagan, 93, said: "On Monday the power was off for seven hours. It's awkward because I don't cook with gas and there is no heat. In the morning I can't make a cup of tea or have my breakfast so I haven't been cooking at all, I've been taking things out of the freezer.

"The heating has been off but luckily it has been relatively mild. I dread to think what would have happened if it had frozen."

Although there are different energy suppliers in London, EDF runs and maintains the whole network of cables across the capital.

A spokeswoman for the company said the disruptions to the service are being caused by a fault on an underground cable.

She said: "EDF Energy Networks apologises unreservedly to 25 residents in the Woodland Gardens area of Muswell Hill for the recent interruptions to their power supplies. We can fully appreciate how much inconvenience these will have caused, particularly in the colder weather.

"Our engineers have located and repaired one fault, although this has not resolved the problem and we believe there is a second fault on another section of the cable.

"However, our engineers have carried out work to minimise the impact of further interruptions. They have split the network into shorter sections to try to reduce the number of customers going off supply if there is a further interruption and to narrow down the location of the fault."

EDF has offered residents £50 compensation for the inconvenience caused. expansion plans for a Crouch End primary school will considered by Haringey Council at a meeting on Monday.

The planning hearing for Coleridge primary school is taking place at 7pm in the Civic Centre in Wood Green. The council wants to convert the old TUC building on Crouch End Hill to include two new classrooms.

Protestors against the scheme say a four-form entry school with more than 800 pupils will be too big and are expected to storm Monday's meeting.

Residents are also angry the council has done nothing to address concerns about increased traffic around the proposed site on Crouch Hill.

Sue Hessel, from the Haslemere Residents' Assocation, said: "The focus of the council's traffic survey has been flawed and limited to the effect on school pupils - our concern is for the safety of residents on our road and the increase in traffic which will be dangerous."

Coleridge governor Amanda Sealy said: "I think this is a bonkers idea. There will be too many children packed into too small a space and they are proposing to divide the biggest school in England by a main road, which will be dangerous for students and teachers.

"I wish they would see sense and understand the risks but unfortunately I think the council is hell bent on the idea.

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