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Welling and Plumstead power cuts: Traders who lost money hit out at EDF

PUBLISHED: 09:51 09 September 2010

Steam Ironing Service, dry cleaners on Wrotham Road

Steam Ironing Service, dry cleaners on Wrotham Road

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A SERIES of power cuts ground businesses to a halt and cost traders hundreds of pounds in lost revenue.

Jayaganthan Aruchchunan Londis shop worker

More than 2,000 homes across Welling, Thamesmead and Plumstead were also hit by outages on Monday and Tuesday raising fears the service offered by EDF Energy is on a downward spiral.

Businesses in the Wrotham Road area of Welling were left without power for nearly three hours on Monday from about 8am.

Furious Sadiq Chaudry, 57, owner of dry cleaners Steam Ironing Service, said: “It is getting worse all the time. They don’t give us a time of when we will get power back. It is terrible. They have no problem taking our money.

“How are we expected to make a living with constant power outages?”

Jayaganthan Aruchchunan, 37, a worker at Londis supermarket, added: “We had to close the shop because we had no power. We must have lost about £500, it’s not good for business. When I call them they are not even helpful.

“We were affected by the three-day power cut last year, it was such an inconvenience and very costly. When will it end?”

The Hayshine pharmacy in Wrotham Road could not dispense any prescription during the power cut which also affected Step Beyond, E’s Barbers, and Gold N Brown tanning salon in the same road.

Lynn Hear, 41, a sales assistant at Cheverst Bakery, said: “I stayed here all morning doing nothing. I wouldn’t recommend EDF to anybody.”

Five hours earlier 2,186 customers in the Plumstead Common area were left without electricity supply due to a fault on a high voltage underground cable. Power was restored almost immediately to about 1,000 customers but the rest were restored in stages, taking several hours.

Reports of another power cut, this time in Thamesmead on Tuesday night at approximately 11.30pm, was unable to be confirmed by EDF Energy but several residents reported the blackout on social networking site Twitter.

These latest incidents come after energy watchdog Ofgem announced last week that the report into the power cut which affected 94,000 homes in Kent and London in July last year has been hit by a further delay.

Welling councillor Peter Catterall said: “These latest cuts reflect more problems with EDF Energy who of course we had major problems with last year. I wasn’t impressed with how they handled it the major power cut. The event itself maybe could have been prevented. There was an issue about how long it took to resolve the issue and they have been nearly as bad as BP at explaining it.

“Afterwards EDF deliberately bent the rules on compensation. For a company that is the one of the major sponsors of the Olympics their lack of philanthropic work in the area is very disappointing.”

A spokesperson for EDF Energy said: “We would like to apologise to customers in Welling and Plumstead for the interruption to their supply on Monday. The two incidents, were caused by faults on underground cables and were completely unrelated, affecting different customer groups.

“There is no underlying problem with the network in the area, in fact the London electricity distribution network is the most reliable in the country. This year EDF is investing £459 million in improvement projects on the electricity distribution networks.”

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