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Major travel disruption after power cut across England, Wales

Commuters have been left stranded across England and Wales after a sudden power outage left nearly a million people without electricity across the majority of regions.

Blackouts were reported just after 5pm in London and the South East, the South-West, Wales, as well as the Midlands, the North-West and the North East of England.

The National Grid Electricity System Operator said issues with two generators caused the loss of power.

The operator said shortly after 6.30pm the electricity issue was “resolved”, however travel disruption is continuing.

The Department for Transport said: “Today’s power outage has had knock on impacts on travel.

“We’re working hard with Network Rail and others to ensure systems are up and running as quickly as possible, so that everyone can complete their journeys safely.”

  • How have people reacted to the power cut?

One passenger at King’s Cross who was stuck in the Underground with her family told ITV News: “We got stuck on the underground. The power failed, the electric went and they had to restart the engine.

“It was very hot and sweaty for about 20 minutes on the Victoria Line.”

Another commuter said: “It’s been nothing but delays shown up on the board and cancellations, so I thought I’d hang about and see what happens but unfortunately now we are being told to leave the station.”

Traveller Zoe Hebblethwaite has described the situation outside Kings Cross station as “absolute mayhem” after the transport hub was closed due to the power issues.

The 23-year-old had been stuck for almost two hours when she spoke to PA, having arrived at the station at 5.30pm before being told to leave until further notice.

Passengers at Clapham Junction during rush hour on Friday.
Passengers at Clapham Junction during rush hour on Friday. Credit: PA

“They have closed doors of the station – no power whatsoever,” she said. “Outside Kings Cross Station is absolute mayhem nobody knows anything nobody can find an assistant to speak to at this point.

“No commuters are allowed in… There is so much confusion.”

The legal secretary from Pontefract, West Yorkshire, said she had no other means of reaching the London North Eastern Railway and she is waiting to see if the problem will be resolved by the end of Friday night.

A London North Eastern Railway staff member pushes a trolley of bottled water at Peterborough station.
A London North Eastern Railway staff member pushes a trolley of bottled water at Peterborough station. Credit: PA

Scott McKenzie was travelling through Newcastle Airport when the power cut out for around 15 minutes, in what he was told by officials was “due to a wider problem in the region”.

“It was a bit worrying to start – more so because various alarms were going off and staff clearly didn’t quite know what was going on either,” the 31-year-old from Cardiff said.

“Some of the spaces in the airport have little daylight – we were literally plunged into darkness and people were using their phones as torches to see and get around.”

Mr McKenzie said the problem at the airport “seems to have been resolved” and Newcastle Airport said it is aware of the power issues but flights have not been disrupted.

Travel disruption persists despite electricity issues being resolved.
Travel disruption persists despite electricity issues being resolved. Credit: @AgentMarlow / Twitter

Harriet Jackson described an “apocalyptic” scene when she witnessed the power outage causing traffic lights to cut out on Northcote Road in Battersea, London, after leaving Clapham Junction train station at around 5pm.

“(I) realised that nothing was open and there was hardly any phone signal,” the 26-year-old said.

 

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