What went on? UK Power Networks apologises for West End blackout chaos

Oliver Gill
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Carnaby Street, when the lights are on (Source: Getty)

Londoners were left puzzled yesterday evening as underground carriages wound their way beneath the streets of the West End, while above ground was plunged into darkness.

Theatregoers were left disappointed and shoppers concerned that they'd missed out on Black Friday bargains from around 5.15pm on Friday.

Read more: In pictures: Blackout on Black Friday - huge power cut hits central London

London Underground also runs on electricity and yet trains could be heard rattling through the busy Piccadilly Circus Tube station.

City A.M. understands last night's fault related to an issue on a high voltage cable run by UK Power Networks – which is responsible for making sure the lights are kept on. And although Transport for London runs its own line off the same cable, it runs a lower voltage version and has its own back-up plan if power is disrupted.

Sources close to UK Power Networks said the "bit of equipment" to blame on the high voltage cable had already been identified and will be replaced.

Read more: How lighting can make your Tube commute more enjoyable

UK Power Networks apologised profusely for the outage. In a statement the company said:

UK Power Networks engineers have restored power supplies in the Soho and Carnaby Street areas of London, after a fault on the electricity network interrupted supplies at 5.16pm (Friday). Supplies were restored in stages with the final few back on at 9pm.

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