LARGE parts of Brighton seafront were without power following a fault with an underground cable.

Power was cut from more than 440 businesses and households in King’s Road including Palace Pier, the Sealife Centre and the Town Hall between about 11.30am and 4.20pm.

Restaurants, cafes, bars and shops were also plunged into darkness, leaving them without tills and card machines.

A spokesman for UK Power Networks said the blackout was due to a faulty underground cable. He added that there was nothing to indicate it was a result of human error, roadworks or the partial collapse of King’s Road in April.

Andrew Cheesman, who owns Buddies restaurant in King’s Road, first lost power at about 11.30am.

He said: “It has been going on and off. It came back and then went around 1pm.

“I just hope that’s it. Hopefully it will be ok for Pride at the weekend.

“All our tills are linked up now so we couldn’t use them. We had to let some customers go with a free meal. There’s nothing you can do really.”

Rides on Palace Pier came to a halt with the power cut and shops along the 1,719 foot attraction had to do without fridges and lighting for about three hours.

Tourists were also left disappointed with all arcades and rides off limits.

Jack Williamson, 22, from Guildford, said: “I’m down for the day and wanted to go on the rides on the pier. It's a bit annoying really. Nobody seems to know what is going on. I might not bother to be honest.”

Also affected by the power cut was Brighton Town Hall and nearby Brighton and Hove City Council building Bartholomew House.

The gates of both Trafalgar Street car park and The Lanes Car Park jammed shut because of the power cut, leaving drivers having to wait for engineers to free them.

Adam Chinery, who runs Brighton Watersports in King’s Road, said he lost business as a result.

He said: “When something like this happens you realise how much you are in the lap of the electricity man.

“Nobody pays by cash anymore and our card machine was obviously down so we had to turn people away.

“We had about 100 students in but we had no light, no showers, no radios or anything. It is annoying, especially on a nice day.”

Homes and businesses as far as the North Laine area also reported power surges and outages.

A UK Power Networks spokesman said “The final supplies were back on by 4.20pm.

“We would like to reiterate our apologies for any inconvenience this caused.”