Power cut splits Willesden High Road in half

Repeated power cuts have left businesses on one side of street out of pocket during busy Christmas period

A ROW of shopkeepers are furious over by repeated power cuts that have cost them trade at the busiest time of the year.

The latest outage, on Monday, December 13, in High Road, Willesden, only affected one side of the road forcing businesses to close while their customers crossed the road to shop at rivals.

One enterprising newsagent refused to be beaten, working by candlelight and calculator, but hairdressers had to wait in the cold in the hope the power would return.

Halim Ghalem, who runs Halim’s Traditional Barber, said: “I’ve lost a lot of business. It’s cold, dark and people are going to other shops. I have got people working here and we don’t know what to do. I’m just sitting and waiting. They keep saying it’s on but it’s not.”

Mr Ghalem said it was the third time he has been hit by a power cut in as many weeks with previous ones on December 1 and November 21.

Philip Abrantes, who runs massage and hair salon, Brazilian Beauty, said he loses hundreds of pounds a day from the power cuts.

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He said: “I don’t mind one day but it’s starting to become regular and this is the busiest time of year. We can’t even wash or dry someone’s hair. We can’t even put the shutters down to close up because it’s electric.

“I rang up electricity board they said claim off your insurance which will put up my premium.”

UK Power Networks, who are responsible for the grid, blamed the faults on an underground cable making the fault difficult to pinpoint.

However it said it was only aware of the two December outages.

A spokesman for the company said: “UK Power Networks would like to apologise to customers in the High Road area of Willesden who have recently had their power supply interrupted.

“We understand how difficult it is to be without electricity and would like to reassure customers that we are doing everything we can to find the cause of the problem and carry out a permanent repair.”

Businesses in Wembley have experienced similar problems with UK Power Networks recently costing a mini-cab company thousands of pounds in equipment and lost business.