Post office-style queues proposed for pubs

Closed Pub Sign

Drinkers in pubs are to be told to stand in a queue and banned from ordering more than two drinks at a time at the bar.
Plans drawn up by Liberal Democrat-controlled Oldham Council, may all 22 pubs in the town centre of Oldham comply with the new rules. The 2003 Licensing Act allows police and trading standards officers to apply for variations in a pub licence if there is concern about drink-related violence and disorder.

Rope barriers similar to those used in shops and post offices will be installed to keep customers in line.

Mark Hastings, of the British Beer And Pub Association, said: 'We have no problem with tackling problem drinking but this is not the way to go about it.

'These measures are costly, unnecessary and totally disproportionate at a time when around 40 pubs are closing every week.

'People aren't going to want to drink if they have to queue up as if they're in the post office.'

Licensing committee member Derek Heffernan said: 'There would have to be some form of barrier so people couldn't push past, either a rope or perhaps something stronger.

'It would be the end of buying a round but we have to do something to calm things down. There have been fights and stabbings and it's not right that people going out for the evening have to worry about being attacked.'

Fellow Lib Dem councillor Mark Alcock said: 'This is the first time since the new licensing laws came into force five years ago that a local authority has reviewed all the licences in a town at the same time.'

But there was a furious response from industry leaders, who say the plan will lead to more pubs going out of business.

Nick Bish, chief executive of the Association Of Licensed Multiple Retailers, said: 'The proposals are ridiculous and our members are up in arms. It's expensive and unnecessary.

'It's a nanny-state response and shows the council to be out of touch.'

Drinkers in Oldham yesterday were equally unimpressed.


  1. First they came for the smokers, and I did not protest because I did not smoke...


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