Kent

Further delay to Dartford power cut report

The bridge over Dartford Creek where the fire broke out
Image caption Thousands of homes were left without power for up to three days

A report into a three-day power cut which affected 94,000 homes in Kent and London has been delayed again.

People in Dartford, Orpington, Erith, Bexleyheath and Crayford were left without power in July after a suspected vandalism attack on a cable bridge.

An official investigation into the incident by regulator Ofgem will not be published for at least two weeks.

EDF Energy has asked Ofgem to publish reports from similar incidents before it makes conclusions about Dartford.

'Still no report'

Gareth Johnson, MP for Dartford, said the situation was unacceptable and left possible compensation claims in limbo.

He added: "People in Dartford who suffered as a result of the blackout will rightly wonder why we are here 10 months after this blackout and still there is no report.

"It seems to me that Ofgem needs to be answerable to consumers of electricity rather than to companies like EDF."

Following the power cut EDF Energy offered a goodwill payment of £50 to properties left without electricity for more than 24 hours.

Ofgem has the power to make energy firm EDF pay compensation to customers affected by the cut.

In December Kent Police said the facts were unclear as evidence had been destroyed by fire and work done to restore power.

The fire on the bridge over Dartford Creek damaged four major electricity circuits on 20 July, affecting homes, businesses, petrol stations and Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford.

Hundreds of engineers and staff were involved in the response to the power cut, and generators were brought in from Scotland, Bristol and Great Yarmouth.

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