Liverpool city centre businesses were forced to shut their doors today after a serious power cut.
Shops, restaurants and pubs in the Hardman Street area had to stop trading after they were plunged into darkness at around 11am with no way of taking payment from customers.
The area’s electricity supply is managed by Scottish Power, who say a total of 150 properties in the area were affected.
Traffic was also severely affected after all traffic lights at the junction of Hope Street and Rodney Street failed to control vehicles travelling up and down the busy road.
Police were eventually called to the scene and an officer stood at the crossroads on Hardman Street and Rodney Street to allow traffic to move one lane at a time.
It is understood each side of Hardman Street is controlled by a separate electricity supply, and businesses on The Philharmonic pub side of the road were affected.
A spokesman for Scottish Power said: “There was a fault with an underground cable and the fault appears to be in the vicinity of Liverpool Cathedral.
“One hundred and fifty properties were affected in total. Most were back on by 1pm and all were back on by 1.15pm.
“Our engineers are looking at the problem and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
John Smith was inside The Philharmonic pub when the lights went out and said customers were asked to finish their drinks and leave.
He said: “Everyone was asked to leave and then they closed the gates and put up a sign. They said it might be about three or four hours until we could go back in.”
Owner of Quick Chef, Soll Akcicek, said: “It has been like this since about half 11. The power came on for a few minutes but then went down again.
“Hopefully we can claim for the time lost because it’s a long time not to be trading.”
A Merseyside police spokesman said they were called at around 11.30am to reports of a power cut in the area around the Philharmonic Hall.
The spokesman said: “Traffic lights are out at a number of junctions, including Hardman Strreet, Rodney Street and Mount Pleasant.
“There’s potential for some traffic disruption. Liverpool Council have been made aware.”
College students at The City of Liverpool College also had exams interrupted by the power cut and were eventually evacuated from the building.