Landlord glad about U-turn on World Cup power cut

A POWER company has backed down after threatening to cut off power to hundreds of homes during England’s crucial World Cup match against Slovenia.

EDF Energy had planned to cut electricity supplies in Bury St Edmunds for 10 minutes during the crucial match this afternoon.

Chris Rudge, 52, landlord of the Glad Abbott pub, was shocked when an EDF engineer told him the news last week.

“I said, ‘You’re having a laugh, aren’t you?’,” Mr Rudge said. “‘We’ve got a big football match on’ but he said he didn’t realise.”

As part of planned maintenance work, EDF will take 585 customers in the Glastonbury Road area off their mains supply for most of today.

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Special generators will be installed to maintain the power supply but these were to be removed at half-time.

“They should have realised beforehand England were playing,” Mr Rudge said.

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“The engineer said they would turn the power off at half-time but we don’t know what extra time or injury time we’ll get.”

Regulars at the pub in Glastonbury Road, Bury, were so angry they could lose vital coverage, they contacted EDF to complain.

The company has now changed the time of its switch-off to between 5.30-6.30pm.

“Customers weren’t happy,” Mr Rudge said. “If they had turned the power off, it could have caused some serious problems for us.

“People would be jumping up and down, wondering what was happening.”

Although the energy firm has put back the time of the shut down, Mr Rudge is still cautious about his coverage.

Although the pub can now show the match, the power cut will mean fridges, pumps and coolers will be shut off after the game.

“We can’t afford not to have the football on,” Mr Rudge said. “It is our bread and butter. We are just going to have to play it by ear.”

A spokeswoman for EDF Energy said the firm had planned the work for today on the suggestion of some businesses in the area.

“Although it is unlikely that any date will be suitable for all customers, we do take customers’ situations into consideration when planning such work,” she said. “It is not usually possible to rearrange essential maintenance work.

“We would like to apologise to the customers affected, but would like to stress that this work is part of our essential all-year-round maintenance programme which is important for the protection of electricity supplies.”

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