Thousands hit by power cuts

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The restaurant of TV chef Nigel Haworth was one of nearly 1,800 properties to be hit by power cuts in the run-up to the new year.

Homes in Halton and surrounding areas lost power at around 4pm on New Year’s Eve as it went dark, with 1,140 properties affected.

Mr Haworth’s business –The Highwayman at Burrow in the Lune Valley – had to make alternative arrangements for 150 diners on December 28 when 650 properties lost power in the Melling area for more than two hours.

Homes and businesses in the Lancaster, Morecambe and Heysham areas also briefly lost power on New Year’s Eve, with many people’s televisions losing 
reception for a longer period of time as a result of the power cut.

Electricity North West, which is responsible for operating and maintaining the electricity network in the region, said the power cuts were caused by underground cable faults. The company said it did not know what specifically caused the faults, but that on average, households in the North West lost power for two hours every two years.

All power in Halton was restored by 6.20pm after engineers were called in to fix the problem.

Tom Garlick, The Highwayman general manager, said staff had driven around 30 people to the nearby Lunesdale Arms, which was unaffected.

He said: “Everything went off for about an hour at around 5.15pm. The power then came back on for 15 minutes but it was then off for another hour.

“Those who were already eating continued by candelight and those who had to leave were really understanding - they realised it was out of our hands.

“Our takings took a hit, of course, but you are prepared for things like this happening.”

Mr Garlick added that Whoop Hall hotel and restaurant off the A65 near Kirkby Lonsdale was also affected.

Up to 46 properties, again in Halton, lost power for around two hours on Saturday, December 8.

Barrow and Walney have also been experiencing faults, however, Jane Fleetwood, response manager for Electricity North West, said the incidents were not related.

She said: “For each of the recent faults we have restored power to residents quickly by either repairing the fault, changing the network configuration, or providing generators – depending on which is best for customers.

“I apologise to people who have experienced any of these recent faults as I know that they can be very disruptive, especially during holidays when more people are at home.

“We work hard to keep faults to an absolute minimum by investing in the network, and restoring power as quickly as possible when power cuts do happen.

“If you have a power cut, please call our 24-hour number on 0800 195 4141. There is also a postcode checker and power cut map on our website, along with advice about how to minimise the impact of power cuts at”