The government should be held responsible for Friday’s power cut that left thousands stranded and sent London into ‘apocalyptic darkness’, a transport union leader has said.
Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, has demanded answers from Boris Johnson over blackouts which affected over a million people.
People were unable to travel from some of the country’s busiest railway stations including Kings Cross and Euston on Friday.
Some chose to spend hundreds on taxis home instead of waiting out the chaos, but thousands of passengers face a second day of disruption as they attempt to make their journeys today.
Mr Cortes said it was reasonable to wonder if the power cut was a ‘sign of things to come’ as Britain hurls towards a no-deal Brexit.
He said: ‘We’ve seen thousands of passengers stranded, unable to board trains and a number of cancellations; others have been taken off trains and onto the tracks. We need to know why this occurred and the lessons to be learned.
‘As we face the growing prospect of a No Deal Brexit it’s reasonable to wonder if this is a foretaste of things to come.
‘Along with an economy sliding towards recession and expected food shortages, we now seem to be a country where blackouts happen without warning, travel grinds to a halt, traffic lights stop working and – terrifyingly – hospitals are left without power.
‘Boris Johnson can’t remain silent over this – he must quickly provide answers and illumination.’
Angry Brits have also taken to Twitter to vent their frustration over the nation’s ‘creaking infrastructure’.
People complained of travelling 12 hours to get home, while others were stuck on trains until the early hours of the morning.
Some blamed Tory austerity and a lack of investment on the chaos that ensued following the power cut.
Shadow business and energy secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey said the impact of the power outage was ‘unacceptable” at a time when National Grid reported £1.8 billion in profits and increased dividends to shareholders.
The blackouts, which started at around 5pm, saw airports, trains and even traffic lights go down across London, the South East, the Midlands and the North West.
That National Grid said the outage was due to a technical fault at two power generators and denied the possibility of a cyber attack.
Spokesman Duncan Burt told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme the generators had disconnected ‘almost simultaneously’ and that this was an ‘incredibly rare event’.
However they have promised to ‘learn lessons’ from the power cut after energy watchdog Ofgem demanded an ‘urgent detailed report’ and threatened enforcement action.