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'Russian roulette' style power cuts harming Marlow traders
'RUSSIAN roulette' style power cuts are losing traders in Marlow town centre vital cash, a furious pub landlord says.
John Ashton, owner of O'Donoghues, in Spittal Street said he is sick of the electricity supply constantly going off without warning and urged other businessmen to put pressure on Southern Electric.
The problem dates back years, with frustrations increasing after a series of recent cuts.
The pub lost power for hours on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
He said: "Every day is like Russian Roulette, will the power be on or won't it?
"It's just a joke. The people at SE are very apologetic but that doesn't pay the bills.
"It's just so frustrating, you just don't know when it will be.
"It's so sporadic, you can't keep making a claim for £100 here and £100 there.
"We're in 2013 and I didn't have this problem when I lived in the hills of Spain in the countryside when electric cuts were frequent and you'd expect it there.
"It's been going on for weeks and weeks now and before that. The really annoying thing is you never know when it's going to happen."
He said he could take £1,000 or nothing for a big night of football like the Champions League games this week.
He said: "What it needs now is some pressure from as many people as possible on SE to make them to do more than they're doing already."
Restaurant Francesco's next door was also severely affected this week, he added.
The eatery was forced to close and turn away customers in late August due to power losses.
61 customers in Liston Road, Dukes Place and Crowne Lane and Spittal Street were affected during the late August power cuts but the company did not say how many had been impacted this week. Bentley's dry cleaners, in Morris Place, opposite the pub, lost power on Friday, Sunday and Monday.
Operational manager Hanif Rajan said: "It's the same with us as well. Whenever John gets hit we get hit as well.
"People think we are closed when we're not. "It's very annoying, nobody seems to know what's going on."
He said it had cost his firm money.
"I'm calculating the cost at the moment. Before it used to happen once in a while, you can put up with that.
"But now it's happening regularly and obviously upsetting all of us because we can't get our work done, so we're fed up of it." He has placed a complaint with his landlord.
There have been occasional power cuts in recent years at some buildings in that part of the street, which date back to the 1840s.
A statement from Southern Electric Power Distribution read: "We have been experiencing an intermittent fault on underground cables serving an area of central Marlow and this has caused interruptions to customer supplies.
"Our engineers are using modern fault location equipment in an effort to find the cause of the problem and will carry out a full repair if at all possible.
"As part of our routine programme of investment in the network, work is also planned for next month to install new, more efficient cables in the wider area, which we expect to prevent the issue from recurring."
The firm apologised to affected customers and insisted it is doing all it can.
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