Businesses have been left without power because of an underground cable fault.

Engineers were forced to dig up part of Newland Street, in Witham, on this morning after a significant power cut.

The fault was reported to UK Power Networks at 1.43am, which said: " A fault has occurred on an underground electricity cable affecting the local area, we may have to dig up the road to carry out repairs."

The power cut has left The White Hart Hotel without power and the business has said the road is often affected by these types of incidents.

Tracy Russell, who runs the hotel, said: "Half of Newland Street is out of action, including my hotel The White Hart.

"This happens too often, the sub station trips only this time they have no idea when power will be back on.

"It's trade affecting and obviously small businesses like ours can't continue to keep taking hits like this.

"Why are they not upgrading the power network to cope with an ever expanding infrastructure and demand."

Braintree and Witham Times:

UK Power Networks estimated the power would return by 11.30am, this later changed to between 1.30pm and 2.30pm.

Dave Arnott, co-owner of the White Hart, said the problem was a common occurrence.

He said: "The power went out yesterday at 8.30am and then came back on.

"It's then gone off again during the early hours of this morning and engineers had to shut down everything.

"They have located the fault in Newland Street right outside my front door. We have a full hotel of about 30 people and we have not been able to do anything.

"We had to send about 90 per cent of our staff home and where it's school holidays they had to organise babysitters and they now have no work.

"We have had quite a few irate customers but some very understanding ones too."

A spokesman for UK Power Networks said: "We would like to apologise to the residents and businesses affected by the power cut in the Newland Street area of Witham today.

"Our engineers are working as quickly and as safely as possible to repair a fault on an underground cable, which has caused a number of power cuts in recent days.

"All electricity supplies will be restored as soon as possible."