Edinburgh trams: Sub-station blamed for power cut

Emergency staff went into Rose Street to check what had caused the power to fail in parts of the West End and Tollcross. Picture: Julie Bull

Emergency staff went into Rose Street to check what had caused the power to fail in parts of the West End and Tollcross. Picture: Julie Bull

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TRADERS piled into the street to berate tram workers after a blackout – only to later find the blame actually lay with a faulty power sub-station.

Innocent labourers faced the wrath of West End business owners who assumed they were responsible for a power cut which affected hundreds of properties.

It is understood one supervisor was singled out for a barracking by shopkeepers who have suffered years of disruption from protracted works. Rachel Gregson, assistant manager at the Ghillie Dhu pub and restaurant at Shandwick Place, said “there was nearly heads on sticks” as the 30-minute blackout hit at 9.45am yesterday.

She said traders had piled out of shops after losing power to berate contractors working nearby on the trams project, but added: “They’ve 100 per cent assured me that the trams have absolutely nothing to do with this.

“I’m not confident, but they assured me. The supervisor went and spoke to his gaffer. He had quite a lot of angry people out shouting at him. He assured us that it was nothing to do with them.

“There was nearly heads on sticks. They claim it’s nothing to do with them. They’re just digging up more concrete.”

Power returned to affected areas within a half-hour as supplies were re-routed, with some homes losing out for only a few seconds, said ScottishPower, which also apologised for the inconvenience.

It is understood a “good few hundred customers” in pockets between the West End and Stockbridge were affected by the outage.

Businesses as far as Tollcross reported power failures which lasted around five minutes. Queues could be seen forming outside post offices in Frederick Street and Raeburn Place which had temporarily closed amid delays in rebooting their IT system. It is thought clothing store House of Fraser and the Frederick House Hotel were also hit.

Engineers are investigating the problem but believe a ­defective feed from a sub-­station was responsible.

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