Power cut knocks out central Ipswich

POWER chaos hit Ipswich today for the second day running.

POWER chaos hit Ipswich today for the second day running.

A large part of central Ipswich was hit by a power cut at the height of rush hour today - hitting homes, businesses and traffic lights.

The railway station was among the businesses affected - ticket machines, lights, and information boards were knocked out although trains and signalling were not affected because they have a separate power supply.

More than 2,000 customers were affected by the power failure caused by a fault on the overhead electricity network.

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The Wherstead Road and Station Street areas of the town were hit, as 2,194 customers woke up to no electricity.

A spokeswoman for EDF Energy apologised for any inconvenience caused.

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She said: “EDF Energy Networks staff restored power to 686 customers at 7.15am and work is continuing to reconnect the remaining supplies as quickly as is safely possible.”

The power cut hit shortly after 7am, and was the second major problem in less than 24 hours - yesterday lunchtime businesses in the centre of the town were affected and Debenhams was closed for much of the day after losing power.

Engineers were today investigating the cause of the major power cut - although there was no immediate indication how long it would last.

Despite the traffic lights being knocked out of action, vehicles were still moving around the town and there were no serious congestion problems caused by the power cut.

Peter Meades for National Express East Anglia said trains were running as normal and extra staff had been put on platforms to help passengers cope with the lack of information.

White boards and marker pens were being used at the station instead of the usual electronic signs.

Yesterday engineers from EDF Energy were called to the store in Westgate Street by the fire service shortly before 11am after a fault developed on a piece of equipment on the high voltage electricity network.

Power was isolated at 1.30pm to 903 customers in the town centre, who were without power for 11 minutes while engineers worked on site to restore power to Debenhams.

An EDF Energy spokeswoman said: “This was necessary to enable engineers to start repair work on the network in safety, and restore power to the customers whose power was affected by the fault, as quickly as possible.

“We would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused.”

A spokeswoman for EDF Energy confirmed the two incidents yesterday and this morning were unrelated.

She said: “Today's fault is on an overhead cable at Wherstead. Yesterday's town centre incident was caused by a problem on a customer's equipment within their premises.”

She said power was restored to the majority of customers affected by this morning's failure by 8.30am and repairs are progressing on site at the moment to restore supplies to the remaining 54 customers.

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