CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, applauds the reform of liquor licensing laws. British pub users have enjoyed a more flexible approach to pub opening hours since the summer of 2004.
After years of campaigning we can now enjoy sensible opening hours for pubs which will boost tourism and help stamp out binge drinking through a more relaxed and responsible approach to enjoying alcohol.
CAMRA research revealed that seven out of ten British adults supported longer opening hours for pubs. This was a popular change with consumers who were tired of unnecessary restrictions on when and where they could enjoy a drink. The original rules were largely based on laws introduced during the First World War and had no place in today's society.
CAMRA dismissed claims that the new Act would lead to a free for all, with all pubs opening 24 hours a day and unrestricted access for children. It is clear that it was simply not the case that all pubs would stay open for 24 hours a day. Pubs have to submit operating plans to the licensing authority and the police and local residents have a say on the hours the pub can to stay open. A number of pubs have applied for an extra hour or two on Friday and Saturday nights.
It is up to publicans and the licensing authority to decide on the suitability of premises for children. It is not that case that kids have access to premises without restriction, but it does mean that pubs can become more family friendly which will benefit millions of people.
There were fears that our streets would be invaded by drunks when the law was changed in 1988 to allow pubs to stay open in the afternoon, but these fears proved unfounded as there was no significant increase in alcohol consumption or alcohol related disorder. The same is true following the 2004 changes and we can all see the benefits of a more relaxed approach to enjoying a drink.
We rarely think about this these days, with all pubs adopting a sensible approach, based on when they think they can serve their customers, enjoying the flexibility and with very few staying open until late at night.
All we need now is for the pubs to be consistent when they open and to dispaly their opening hours for all to see!