VIDEO: Power cuts force shops to shut

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Retailers on James Street were forced to close for two days running due to recurring power cuts.

Shops were forced to close their doors on Wednesday January 16 and on Thursday January 17 after a fault with an underground cable led to power cuts on the one of Harrogate’s main shopping streets.

Retailers were left counting the costs of closing during what is usually a busy period of the January sales.

Mark DeOweneley financial director for James Brindley estimates the store closures have cost the business in the region of £12,000.

“The big problem is that passing trade doesn’t come back so we have missed out on that.”

Justine Kirkham, Head of Design at James Brindley on James Street said: “The January sale is usually a popular time for us, especially for big items and furniture.”

She added that there was no way the store could open: “The till’s kept going off and the place was freezing cold.

“We have emergency lighting, but it is just suitable for emergencies it isn’t enough to use to stay open. It wouldn’t be safe and people wouldn’t even be able to see anything in the shop.”

A few doors down footwear store ecco faced similar problems.

Assistant manager Craig Dixon said: “It happen’s alot so we are quite used to it. Last time the power went down was the Saturday before Christmas in 2011 which was really bad.”

Ms Kirkham had felt the contact from Northern Powergrid, who are responsible for delivering electiricity in the area, was not great on Wednesday morning.

She said: “At first they told us it would only be 20 minutes, but it went on all day. If they had a better time estimate than I could have sent the 11 staff who were in off on other jobs.”

A spokesman for Northern Powergrid, Roderick Stuart, explained that the temporary repair engineers carried out on Wednesday was unable to cope with the extra burden on the mains caused by the cold weather.

He said: “We have now completed a permanent repair to the underground cable fault responsible for the loss of supplies over the last two days.

“We would like to apologise to everyone affected by this issue and thank them for their patience. We would also stress that we have done everything possible over the last 48 hours to get the problem fixed.”

Mr DeOweneley confimed that James Brindley was open for businessas usual now that the problems had been resolved.