Police concerns over public safety are behind a decision to order pubs to close their pavement beer terraces earlier from today, say Doncaster Council bosses.
They have warned it will cost them thousands of pounds and are concerned and say most drinkers in the town centre do not arrive at their venues until 10pm.
Dan Swaine, director of conomy and environment at the council, said: ‘The decision has not been taken lightly and reflects concerns expressed by the police about public safety risks and increased numbers of people given more premises will be opening from 17 May.
“From 12 April, we enabled premises to operate an alfresco pavement arrangement until 1am where they could. This was done to help them reopen given they had been closed for some time due to the restrictions. We believe this demonstrates a permissive and pragmatic approach.
"We have also enabled a number of these premises to operate these alfresco arrangements on council land so they could maximise the opportunity. Clearly we do not want to stand in the way of their commercial operations, but as a Licensing Authority we have to take reasonable steps to preserve and protect public safety.
“From 17 May, licensed premises can sell alcohol for consumption inside their premises, so more venues will open and consequently there will be more people. This presents a bigger risk.
"We recognise the 1am arrangements worked well, but we believe the reversion to 11pm for the alfresco arrangements reflects a reasonable approach to managing things from 17 May. We will be monitoring the situation and reviewing the arrangements as we are keen to help the businesses but as the Licensing Authority we do need to balance this with ensuring there is a safe environment across Doncaster.”
Pubs, who have lost tens of thousands of pounds during lockdown and had to take out Government loans to survive, say they change will cost them thousands of pounds a night.