ALE Spring 2003 No. 309

CAMRA's Survey on Licensing Hours

Results of CAMRA's major survey of public views on pub opening hours show that the majority of adults in England and Wales support the Government's plans to reform outdated liquor licensing laws by introducing more flexible opening hours for pubs.

The nationwide survey of 1035 adults was in December 2002. Results exclude those who did not express a view.

The survey shows that 75% of adults believe a pub should be able to open when the publican pleases, providing the local community is protected from excessive noise and nuisance. 60% of adults believe there would be less disorder in town centres if pub closing times varied and 67% think adults should be treated as adults and should have the opportunity to drink in pubs at any time they choose.

Age Gap

The results reveal that over-45 year olds are generally more in favour of longer pub opening hours than 16-24 year olds. 89% of 45-54 year olds and 77% of over-55 year olds believe a pub should be able to open when the landlord pleases subject to proper protection for the community from excessive noise and nuisance. 69% of 16-24 year olds agree.

Men and women

Men are generally more in favour of longer pub opening hours than women. 89% of men think a pub should be able to open when the landlord pleases, as long as the community is protected from excessive noise or nuisance. 63% of women agree.

70% of men, compared to 52% of women, also think there will be less disorder in town centres if pub closing times varied.

85% of men think adults should be treated as adults and should have the opportunity to drink in pubs at any time they choose. 54% of women agree.

Pub Goers

Frequent pub-goers, those who visit pubs at least once a week, are only slightly more supportive (81%) of a more flexible approach than adults who visit pubs less than once a month (78%).

Research by The Publican newspaper showed that only 1% of licensees would wish to open 24 hours - most just want an extra hour at weekends.

Regional differences

Londoners are most in favour of a more flexible approach with 88% in support of longer opening hours. Adults in Yorkshire and the North East appear less convinced with 63% and 65% respectively.

Percentage of adults whom 'agreed' or 'strongly agreed' that landlords should be able to open when they please as long as the community is protected from excessive noise or nuisance:


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