THE mains gas supply to five Herefordshire villages has been cut, apparently without warning.

Hundreds of homes around Hampton Bishop, near Hereford, are believed to be without gas tonight (Tuesday).

Nearby Holme Lacy, Priors Frome, Mordiford and Fownhope are also affected.

LATEST UPDATE: Cadent issues update after Herefordshire homes left without gas

Villagers say their meters have been capped by engineers. Capping is a procedure in which meters are blocked for safety reasons.

Paul Burke, who lives in Hampton Bishop, said he had been told by network operator Cadent that homes may not be connected until tomorrow (Wednesday) evening.

"Twenty-four hours without gas heating or hot water and no update on what's going on," he said, but added that Cadet had later phoned him to say they were working on a fix.

"I've been told it could take up to Friday to get back to normal. With the price of gas and electricity going up, it is not good enough."

In a statement earlier this evening Cadent said: "We began to receive reports this morning of no gas in the Hampton Bishop area.

"Our teams arrived on site quickly and identified an issue with the local gas network.

"As well as Hampton Bishop, this has impacted customers in Priors Frome, Mordiford, Fownhope and Holme Lacy.

"We have mobilised lots of engineers to the area to begin the work needed to restore your supply.

"In order to do this safely, we first need to be assured that the gas supply valve at each property is turned off.

"Please DO NOT try to switch off your own supply. Our engineers must do that. They all carry ID – please do check it.

"We know being without gas is not great and inconvenient. We are doing everything we can to safely restore your supply quickly.

"Our team are going door-to-door now to carry out this work. If you can stay in, so we can get in, that will help to speed this up.

"We will work late into the evening – only stopping when it’s too dark or late to disturb you. We will be back early tomorrow.

"We are sorry, but we may not be able to start the process to restore supplies until at least tomorrow evening.

"We promise to update you as soon as we know more.

"We can provide you with alternative heating and means to cook if you need it.

"We also have a list of customers who are on the priority services register, and we will be providing every assistance to them. But if you know of a neighbour or family member who needs support, let us know.

"We are setting up a customer contact and help point at Hampton Bishop Village Hall, Church Lane, HR1 4JY.

"Thank you for your patience and kindness you’re already showing our teams on-site. They are working very hard to get you back on gas as quickly as we can."

We will be seeking a further update from the company tomorrow (Wednesday).