A POWER cut in Wokingham left some shops and businesses without electricity for almost an hour this afternoon.

Roadworks taking place nearby are thought to have been the cause of the cut around 1pm today, which plunged shops into darkness, leaving them unable to open tills or take card payments.

Southern Electric, which powers the area, said at 4.30pm there were still 170 customers without power, but mobile generators were on their way.

Ryan Hilton, supervisor at In Town News in Broad Street, said: "We only lost power for two minutes. Apparently someone dropped a concrete block on a power cable. The whole street was affected." Derek Barton, assistant manager at John Wood Sports in Broad Street, said: "I had to turn one or two customers away. The electricity was off for about an hour, we stood at the door advising customers what was going on and we could not get the till open. Natwest all the way to Marks and Spencer was affected. Shoppers were milling about, but it was only for an hour. It could have been worse." Charlotte Satchell, Sales Assistant at Dolls House Boutique in Rose Street, said: "We did not close but the till was not working and the card machine was not working either so we took cash and we put cards through the old fashioned way." A spokesman for Southern Electric said: "There are 170 customers who are still without power and mobile generators are on their way. They should get the power back mid-afternoon, early evening. Our priority is to get everyone back on." He added that they hadn't yet identified the cause of the power cut.