UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

What is killing the traditional British pub?


British pubs are closing at a rate of more than 50 a week, according to industry figures. The number of watering holes shutting up shop increased by a third in the first six months of 2009 to around 52 every week.

The British Beer and Pubs Association (BBPA) said the closure rate means a total of 2,377 pubs have closed over the last 12 months with the loss of 24,000 jobs. The BBPA blames above-average increases in alcohol duty, the cost of regulation and the recession for the worrying trend.

The smoking ban, poor weather last summer and cheap alcohol offers in supermarkets have also been blamed for driving drinkers away from the pubs.

Do you still have a traditional British pub in your area? Do you still use it? What do you think is to blame for the pub industry’s slow demise?

Banning swearing in pubs


pub.jpgChristian pub landlords John and Krista Fleming have been sacked after their attempts to ban swearing and gambling on horse races drove customers away in such large numbers that takings plummeted.

Regulars at the King’s Head in Islington, north London, complained that they were excessive in their Christian zeal. “They should have had pews in there, not chairs,” said one.

So how has the smoking ban been for you?


smoking.jpgThis week marks the first anniversary of England’s ban on smoking in indoor public places. Hardly a puff has been blown in the nation’s pubs and restaurants since July 1 2007.

The health benefits seem clear –  a study by Cancer Research UK suggests the ban has contributed to a 5.5 percent fall in smoking rates in the first nine months after the law changed. That’s about 400,000 people.