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Thousands left without power across south-east England after substation fault

Trade bodies warned a lot of businesses are tied into fixed prices (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Archive)
Trade bodies warned a lot of businesses are tied into fixed prices (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Archive)

Thousands of homes were left without power across south-east England on Thursday.

A spokesperson for UK Power Networks, which supplies the area, said many of the homes were without power due to a fault in the Burgess Hill area.

According to the Mirror newspaper, nearly 40,000 properties were affected on Thursday morning, mainly centred around West Sussex.

Some 36,000 people experienced power cuts in the region, while around 1,400 Londoners were also temporarily affected. A smaller number of residents in East Sussex and Kent reported power outages too.

A UK Power Networks spokesperson said: “Power was quickly restored after a fault at a substation in the Burgess Hill area interrupted supplies to customers in parts of Mid Sussex at 3.36am today.

“For safety reasons we needed to turn off several thousand supplies in the area again from about 10am for up to two hours so that our engineers can safely inspect equipment at the site.”

As of 3pm, a number of the power outages appeared to have been resolved, including those in the Burgess Hill area.

It comes after a major airport was forced to close its runways for a couple of hours because of a “period of heavy snow fall” - as snowstorms swept central and northern England.

East Midlands Airport in Derby said it had to take the precaution for health and safety reasons, with runways re-opening shortly before 1pm.

Fresh disruption is expected overnight because of blizzards in some parts of the country, which are expected to bring 50mph winds and up to 40cm of snow in some places.

The Met Office has issued three amber warnings for northern England, the Midlands, North Wales and Northern Ireland, where “significant disruption” to transport and power supplies is expected.

Three more mild yellow warnings for snow also cover much of the rest of the nation, with the exception of southern England and western Scotland.