Doncaster pub boss warns drinkers 'behave or we could lose 1am pavement licences'

A Doncaster pub boss is urging drinkers to respect the rules when bars re-open next month – or risk pubs having to shut earlier.

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 3:36 pm

Bosses at Doncaster Council performed a U-turn this week to allow pubs to use the pavements outside their bars until 1am , rather than the 11pm that they had earlier announced.

The change came after landlords who would depend on the so-called ‘pavement licences’ warned they could have to close down if they were only allowed to open until 11pm, because venues only start to get busy after 10pm.

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Chris Coughlan, O'Donegan's owner and Ian Bailey, Mason Arms owner, pictured with staff members. Picture: NDFP-30-03-21-O'Donegan's 1-NMSY

Chris Coughlan, who owns O’Donegans on Hall Gate, had warned closing at 11pm would close his business down and was relieved by the change of mind.

He said he had slept properly for the first time in weeks after the U-turn.

“It is a sigh of relief from me and my staff.” he said. “It is going to be tough anyway, with a lot depending on the weather.

"My and my staff had been worried, and are excited about coming back.

"But I urge all those who will be coming into town to behave themselves, because our pavement licences could depend on it. It is vital that people don’t do anything that could cause us to lose that.

"We need people to stick to the rules and be honest about who they are with.”

The council said it had looked at how it could further help local businesses whilst still providing a safe and secure environment for customers and the public.

It stated: “We’ve also taken into account comments and feedback from local businesses as part of this ongoing dialogue.”

Director of economy and environment, Dan Swaine said "We remain committed to helping businesses reopen responsibility and we’ve continued to listen to feedback from licensees who have a pavement licence.

"We have also been in dialogue with the Police and it’s clear we need to continue to take a balanced approach to this. Therefore we have reviewed the situation and determined that during the period 12/4/21 to 17/5/21 these pubs and bars can open their alfresco areas next to the highway until 1am at the latest, where this is considered suitable.”

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