AN ELECTRICITY supplier has ruled out a cyber-attack as the reason for a power outage in Chineham.

Thousands of residents in the Chineham and Old Basing area of the borough were without power this morning.

This resulted in no power being supplied to more than 1,400 homes as well as the Chineham Medical Centre and a number of local stores.

The power outage comes just days after a mass power failure of the National Grid on Friday, which effected transport links across the county.

As a result of the power cut in Chineham the traffic lights on the A33 towards Reading were not operational leading to motorists chancing pulling out on to the busy junction.

Heather Cramshaw, from Sherfield-on-Loddon said she was travelling towards the Chineham Shopping Centre and noticed the lights on the A33 were off.

She said: “I was heading to Tesco to pick up a few bits and as I got near the Binfields turning I saw all these break lights.

“I quickly realised the lights were out and people were trying to join the junction, but no one was letting anyone in.

“There were no signs to say there was an issue and all it would have taken was lapse in judgement and there could have been a serious accident.”

Following the huge power cuts on Friday, the government has now launched an enquiry into the cause of the incident with the National Grid, with initial thoughts that it was linked to a cyber-attack.

However, Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), who supply electricity to the area, have said this was not the case.

A spokesperson for SSE said: “There is absolutely no reason to suspect this is related to a cyber attack – it is simply a fault on the network which SSEN engineers are working to resolve.

“SSEN would like to thank customers for their patience and apologise for any inconvenience this interruption to their supply has caused.”

A National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) spokesperson said: “Any type of power cut can be disruptive to daily life, and the whole UK energy industry needs to understand the causes of yesterday’s power cut and also why it was able to create such significant disruption to services across Great Britain, particularly the transport network.

“The National Grid ESO is therefore very pleased that the government has commissioned the Energy Emergencies Executive Committee to consider the incident and how it played out, and we will work closely with that investigation to ensure that learnings can be reflected in industry processes and procedures going forward.

“In the meantime the ESO has already initiated its own internal review of the response, and is collaborating closely with Ofgem, local distribution networks and affected power stations / generators to understand the cause of yesterday’s power cut.”