The Speaker
Saturday, 18 May 2024 – 10:46

Energy watchdog demands answers after major power cut causes travel chaos

The UK’s energy watchdog, Ofgem has demanded answers after a major power cut caused travel chaos and cut electricity to almost 1 million people in England and Wales on Friday.

Ofgem is demanding answers from the National Grid after the country’s biggest power outage in a decade. The outage caused widespread disruption in Friday evening’s rush hour, including the failure of traffic light systems and Newcastle Airport being left in darkness.

A spokesperson for the National Grid said on Saturday;

“The root cause of yesterday’s issue was not with our system but was a rare and unusual event, the almost simultaneous loss of two large generators, one gas and one offshore wind, at 4.54pm. We are still working with the generators to understand what caused the generation to be lost.”

The outage left some people stuck in trains for many hours, according to reports and some hospitals also experienced power issues.

Power had been restored to over 900,000 customers on Saturday, but the rail network has been struggling to resume services as normal. Services are also experiencing disruption on Saturday due to flooding which caused the temporary closure of the West Coast mainline between England and Scotland.

A transport union leader has said the government should be held responsible for Friday’s power cut. 

Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association said;

‘We’ve seen thousands of passengers stranded, unable to board trains and a number of cancellations; others have been taken off trains and onto the tracks. We need to know why this occurred and the lessons to be learned.

‘As we face the growing prospect of a No Deal Brexit it’s reasonable to wonder if this is a foretaste of things to come.

‘Along with an economy sliding towards recession and expected food shortages, we now seem to be a country where blackouts happen without warning, travel grinds to a halt, traffic lights stop working and – terrifyingly – hospitals are left without power.

‘Boris Johnson can’t remain silent over this – he must quickly provide answers and illumination.’


Skip to content