Blackpool hoteliers have slammed plans to curb drinking in the resort at 3am, as a major consultation into the plan begins.
A 42-day consultation on plans for an Early Morning Restriction Order (EMRO) started yesterday, inviting comments on ideas to stop the sale of alcohol in Blackpool at 3am in a bid to put a stop to early morning crime.
But at a public meeting, hoteliers hit out at the proposals, saying they will bring town centre revellers into their establishments all at once.
James Morgan, owner of the Darfield Hotel, on Charley Road, said: “If people want to be drinking at that time of the morning, they will be. All this is going to do is send people back to their hotels when they don’t want to.
“If you throw everyone out at 3am, everyone will be in the street at the same time and there will be more chance of confrontation and violence.”
Andy Walker from the Mayfair, on Vance Road, agreed.
He said: “If everyone’s out at 3am they’ll all be outside and shouting. At least this way people are going back to the hotel when they want to.
“I remember in the 1970s and 1980s the town had a massive problem when the pubs shut at 11pm and it was mayhem. I bet your bottom dollar that two years down the line, if this is approved, the amount of call outs to police, fire and ambulance services will have risen.”
Gerrard Walsh, vice chairman of the Central Holiday Area PACT meeting, where the views were aired, said: “You wouldn’t go to Vegas and tell everyone to go home at a certain time, so why they are thinking of doing it here is beyond me.”
Blackpool’s Council licencing committee will be making a decision on the EMRO, which will cover Queen Street and Market Street, once the consultation period is over.
As well as comments from the public and business owners, councillors will be using crime figures included in an 80-page document from police. Lancashire Constabulary says violent crime has increased in the town centre in recent years, and stopping drinking at 3am could reduce crime levels.
But bar and club owners have hit back saying the EMRO would massively hit Blackpool’s tourist trade.
They have questioned the police research and warned if the policy is implemented bars and clubs will close at the cost of hundreds of jobs.
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