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Bristol Council could ban drinking outside pubs from 10.30pm

Mr Wolf’s, The Mothers ruin, The Crown and every pub on St Nicholas and King Street could lose their nighttime outdoor seating


Bristol City Council is attempting to bring in a curfew for pubs and restaurants which have seating outside their premises. This is a result of pavement licenses, that were issued during the pandemic, reaching their expiration date.

The council could refuse to renew them which could be detrimental to businesses and upsetting for customers.

There was a gathering on 2nd May to discuss the licenses and they ultimately decided to extend the curfew to broader areas of the city. The council representatives stated that this is based on the Business Planning Act of 2020, but this policy does not appear to mention a curfew.

The council have defended revoking outdoor seating as they claim to have no control. In a statement, a spokesperson said: “These temporary changes to the carriageway expired in October last year and the temporary legislation used to make the changes ceased in April 2021, so no new Temporary Traffic Orders can now be produced without new powers being granted by Westminster.”

Photo provided by The Mother’s Ruin

Essentially, this would mean anywhere with a BS postcode could no longer have seating outside their business after 11 PM. Included in this area are the famous King Street, St. Nicholas Street and Clifton. Pubs like Mr Wolf’s and King Street Brew House would no longer have their popular outside seating which has bolstered the community during the pandemic.

This curfew could affect businesses that are already struggling under the cost of living crisis. This policy could also result in cuts to staff and many students are employed in the hospitality industry.

The St Nicholas Street pub, The Mother’s Ruin, is already estimating a loss of £50,000 per month without additional seating. The owners also co-own the popular pub called The Crown.

Speaking to the BBC, they said: “We are facing a £600,000 hole in our turnover, in the next 12 months. That means I will have to lay off 10 people.”

Photo credit: The Crown

This could also have negative effects on customers. Without outdoor seating, evidence suggests that people standing at a bar are more likely to engage in binge drinking. This is harmful to the individual but also possibly to those around them as they may engage in more aggressive behaviour. A standing environment could also lead to crowding and friction between people.

One Bristol student told The Tab: “I think that it’s going to have a seriously negative impact on students and the general public who socialise in the evening because if you can’t sit outside you’ll be forced inside where it’s crammed.”

Another student said: “I think it takes away from the vibrant atmosphere of the Bristol nightlife.”

If you want to have your say, sign the petition to have Bristol City Council rethink their policy. If the petition reaches 4500 signatures they are required to discuss the policy for 20 minutes.

We want to hear from you! Message us on Instagram @thebristoltab with your thoughts.

Featured image credited to The Crown. 

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