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Firms’ anger at repeated electricity failures in Blackburn
12:51pm Wednesday 26th September 2012 in News
BUSINESSES say they have lost thousands of pounds in custom after a series of power cuts along Whalley New Road.
And 40 residents in the Bastwell area, including Blackburn MP Jack Straw , have also been left in the dark.
Arif Amin, 42, who owns the 120-seater Kebabish Original restaurant, said: “It has happened eight or nine times in the last seven weeks. The worst period was over the August bank holiday period when I estimate we lost around £7,000 in business.
“It always seems to happen at our peak times in the evening, around 7.30pm, when the restaurant is full of customers.
“When you have customers in celebrating birthdays and special occasions and a busy takeaway service, it not only loses the business money, it damages its reputation.”
He said last week the power went off for 90 minutes at about 8pm on Tuesday.
On Friday it went off for three hours between 7pm and 10pm and on Saturday between 8pm and 10.30pm and again for 30 minutes on Sunday evening.
Mr Amin added: “When the power goes off I can’t send staff home because I don’t know how long we will be affected, so I pay them to twiddle their thumbs until it does come on.”
Mr Straw said: “A couple of weeks ago I returned home to complete darkness. While I was on the phone to Electricity North West the power came back on, but it went off again shortly after.
“I have spoken to some of the businesses affected by the power cuts and there seems to be a chronic failure in the system. I will be taking the issue up on their behalf.”
Bastwell Labour councillor Shaukat Hussain has been contacted by a number of businesses.
He said: “It’s not good enough in this economic climate. This is happening too often and not enough is being done to resolve it. The businesses are losing money and customers.”
A spokesperson for Electricity North West said: “We apologise for this re-occurring fault, which is due to excess load on the network in the area.
“Our engineers will continue to restore power as quickly as possible when outages occur as we continue to plan an effective long-term solution.”
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