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Power cut leaves Belsize traders fuming

PUBLISHED: 17:58 09 April 2010 | UPDATED: 16:54 07 September 2010

A POWER cut lasting four hours sparked fury among disgruntled traders in Belsize Park today (Friday). Electricity was cut off to over 200 homes and businesses from around 2pm so electricians could carry out emergency repairs to an underground table. But t

A POWER cut lasting four hours sparked fury among disgruntled traders in Belsize Park today (Friday).

Electricity was cut off to over 200 homes and businesses from around 10am so electricians could carry out emergency repairs to an underground cable.

But traders say they were given no warning and as a result lost thousands of pounds in trade.

Ashwin Vjas, from Chequers Textile Care said: "I am very angry because I was forced to let my customers down. We are supposed to start the final stage of our dry cleaning process at 10am, but the whole process was delayed till 2.15pm. I am losing £500 on staff wages alone."

And the power cut nearly ruined one poor couple's marriage.

Mr Vjas said: "A bride came to pick up her wedding dress for tonight and it was not ready. Now I have to wait till the dress gets cleaned and deliver it to her at her wedding venue in South London."

Kewal Kantibhi, duty manager of Tesco, said that Tesco lost £2,000 in revenue per hour.

He said: "I am exhausted and stressed. Some food perished, but luckily we managed to save the most by pulling up blinds over the refrigerated shelves to keep the temperature cool."

Some traders enquired about compensation but were told the maximum pay out was £180 but only if power is out for eight hours.

A spokesman for EDF Energy said: "At 10.35am today (April 9), EDF Energy Networks engineers had to isolate supplies to 146 customers in the England's Lane area of Belsize Park in order to carry out an emergency repair to an underground electricity cable. A further 110 customers had supplies isolated at 10.45am."

"The engineers worked as quickly and as safely as possible, with 135 customers having power again at 2pm, 11 at 2.15pm and the final 110 customers at 2.25pm.

"We appreciate how difficult it can be to lose power and would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused by this incident.


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