NEWS
09/08/2019 17:50 BST | Updated 09/08/2019 21:31 BST

Power Cut Causes Transport Chaos Across The UK

King's Cross station shut completely while Merseyrail and Thameslink are among the many train lines affected.

A power cut that affected large parts of England has led to delays on numerous train networks across the UK. 

Outages began taking place at around 4.30pm on Friday afternoon and were caused by a failure to National Grid’s network.

London Underground passengers shared videos that show station tunnels in complete darkness: 

While power was restored within approximately 30 minutes, the failure has led to delays and cancellations with London North Eastern Railway advising customers not to travel, suspending all services into and out of London’s King Cross.

Hull Trains has also suspended all services to and from King’s Cross and the London station later shut entirely with travellers being advised to return on Saturday. 

At 6pm, Thameslink reported delays across its network, with trains between Farringdon and Bedford at a stand.  

They later confirmed that there would be no services north of London for the remainder of Friday. 

National Rail has confirmed that Gatwick Express, Great Northern and Southern services are also being affected while Merseyrail said all services on the Wirral Line in Merseyside are suspended.

Disruption was expected until at least 8pm, but many lines remain affected. People planning to travel are being advised to check the National Rail website for updates

Many trains that were in transit between stations have been affected, leaving travellers stranded for up to three hours. 

A spokesperson for British Transport Police urged passengers to remain on trains that aren’t in stations and await updates.

“We know this is frustrating for passengers, but I’d like to assure you every step is being taken to get you on the move and to restore services,” they said. 

In London, police officers could be forced to man busy junctions where traffic lights have been shut down by a power cut, a spokeswoman for Transport for London has confirmed.

She said some traffic lights are “not working” but the scale of the problem is not yet known.

Police officers could be called in to “manage the busy junctions, to physically manage them themselves,” she said.

“We’re just assessing how many traffic signals are out.”

Some of TfL’s systems which control traffic lights are also “not operating”, she said.

Harriet Jackson described an “apocalyptic” scene when she witnessed the power outage causing traffic lights to cut out in Battersea, London, after leaving Clapham Junction train station at around 5pm.

“I realised that nothing was open and there was hardly any phone signal,” the 26-year-old told Press Association.

“All the traffic lights were down, but there were no police present, which meant it was dangerous to cross – cars weren’t stopping either.

“It was like witnessing something out of an apocalyptic film.

“No one knew what was going on and, given it’s a Friday afternoon, it’s the last thing you want to encounter.”

The power cut also affected homes and businesses nationwide. 

A spokeswoman for Northern Powergrid said 110,000 of its customers lost power.

She said the problem was with the National Grid’s transmission network, which distributes high voltage energy from power stations across the UK.

Northern Powergrid serves 3.9 million homes and businesses in the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire.

Those affected lost power between around 5.10pm and 6pm – around half an hour later than those in Southern areas of the UK. 

The power cuts were “quite spread apart, [which is] quite unusual”, the spokeswoman said.