Blackout hits town business

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A HUGE power cut left scores of businesses in Scarborough town centre in darkness during the busy lunchtime rush.

Many shops, cafes and banks were affected by yesterday’s blackout, which affected some of Scarborough’s busiest streets such as Westborough, Newborough and Castle Road.

A spokesman from CE Electric said nearly 1,400 customers were affected.

The power cut struck at 11.42am and service was not restored until around half an hour later – with problems at Scarborough’s head post office in Aberdeen Walk lasting until around 1pm.

A Royal Mail spokesman said: “We reopened at 1.15pm after having to close for around an hour and a half. All our counter positions are computerised so we couldn’t process any transactions.”

One customer who had to queue outside said: “I was wanting to pay a bill so I’ve had to come back again.

“It seems to have affected a really large area.”

Barry Lawrenson, owner of Roasters Coffee Company, also in Aberdeen Walk, said the power cut was the second to affect his business this year, following four last year.

He said: “We’ve raised a complaint now with NEDL. We’ve been told in the past they normally don’t give out compensation for things like this, so we want to know what they’re doing to stop it happening again.”

Mr Lawrenson had to refund customers who had already ordered food and drink and believes his takings will be down by a few hundred pounds.

He said: “I’m past the stage of being angry. Customers were very sweet about it, but it’s just happening to often.”

Maltby’s pharmacy, which is next door, had to close due to tills and the lights going off, but were able to give out prescriptions which had already been ordered.

Banks affected by the blackout included Natwest, Barclays and the Skipton Building Society.

Speaking from the Westborough branch, the Skipton’s area manager Russ Thompson said: “This will cost us a lot today - we had four people booked in for appointments at noon which had to be cancelled.

“Those customers who were speaking to us at the time had to have their appointments cut short.”

Mr Thompson added that customers were calm and took the power cut in their stride. However he said many were inconvenienced as Monday is a very busy day for people drawing out cash.

Stuart Kille, joint owner of Photo Studio in Aberdeen Walk, was also without power.

He said: “It was a nightmare. We lost a lot of work on the computer.”

The blackout stretched to Tesco Metro in Castle Road and the nearby traffic lights at the junction with Dean Road, which stopped working.

Further afield there was a power surge with lights flickering on and off as far away as Crossgates.

A spokesman from CE Electric UK said: “We can confirm a power cut occurred in Scarborough town centre today at 11.42am affecting 1,376 customers.

“The power cut was due to a cable fault on the high voltage network and power was restored to all properties at 12.10pm.

“CE Electric UK would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused to those customers affected.”