Pubs in Burngreave are staying open later, after new government legislation was introduced UK-wide on 24th November 2005.
None of the pubs will be extending their opening times for more than a couple of hours beyond 11pm, however: “At the end of the day, I want to go to bed!” said Bay Horse landlady Carolyn Little.
The Government have decided to get rid of the old opening times in an attempt to curb binge drinking in the UK. According to the British Crime Survey, 47 percent of all crime is alcohol related and drink-related attendances at casualty are vastly higher between 8pm and 6am at weekends.
Government ministers say that relaxing the licensing laws will make people drink more sensibly as they won’t be rushing to finish their drinks before last orders. Critics say it will have the opposite effect: that extending the time people can drink will simply allow them to drink more.
The idea is borrowed from countries in Europe, such as Germany, that take a more relaxed approach to drinking: “I’ve seen 24-hour drinking in Germany, when I was in the forces. It did work out there, but took a long time to implement,” said Tollgate landlord Kev Doughty.
The general consensus between publicans, staff, customers, a local councillor and the police, however, is that the new opening hours will have little effect. “It won’t alter drinking habits here at all,” said Sportsman barman Richard Bennett.
Everyone is expecting the usual revelry in the run-up to Christmas, but most say that the biggest consideration for drinkers is how much money they have or haven’t got.
“The important thing to remember is that the Government are not giving away any extra money for the public to spend on drink,” said Chris Brown, South Yorkshire Police Sergeant (HQ Liquor Licensing). “After the festive season, when we’re all skint, we’ll revert back to our former drinking habits. What may change is the time people go out and return home.”
Customers are generally happy with the more relaxed opening times, especially those working shifts who can now go for a drink afterwards. Staff are also content with the new arrangement, which is only a slight change for them.
However, there was a mixed reaction from residents living close to the pubs. One complaint was made by a local resident about the potential for an increase in noise and the volume of traffic.
“Only two customers drive to these premises: one brings an elderly couple who couldn’t get here if they didn’t drive, and the other comes in a car because she’s disabled.” said Bay Horse landlady Carolyn Little.
Pitsmoor Road resident Ray Tredoux said: “I don’t think it will make any difference. This is a busy road, so it’s noisy anyway.”
But a Shirecliffe Lane resident disagreed: “When people are inebriated they don’t understand what they are doing. I think there will be a rise in noise.”
“I always hear them. The new licensing hours are not significantly different but they will have an effect,” said a resident of Barnsley Road.
Reassurance for residents came from Burngreave Councillor Steve Jones, who said: “This is not just about controls being taken off; we do have new powers to control anti-social behaviour.”
Pub Opening Hours
The opening hours of pubs in Burngreave and the surrounding areas.