A change to the drink-driving limit has had a bad effect on Scotland’s pubs, according to the Scottish Beer and Pub Association.
Responding to a University of Glasgow study, showing that the change to the drink-driving limit has not reduced road accidents, the SBPA says 340 pubs have closed since the policy came into effect.
The organisation says rural and suburban pubs have been particularly hard hit by the policy at a time when they already face a difficult economic climate, rising costs and shrinking profit margins. It points out that, considering pubs are a key part of Scotland’s tourism offer and are the home of great Scottish beer, this is of real concern.
SBPA chief executive, Brigid Simmonds, said: “We would like the government to commit to working with the sector to address the range of issues which are badly impacting our pubs. This includes acknowledging the key social and economic benefits pubs bring to our cities, towns and villages.
“When a pub closes, it doesn’t just mean that there’s one less place to get a drink — it means local job losses and, on average, £100,000 less for the local economy every year. It also often means the loss of the social hub for the community, which can have an immeasurable impact.
“We firmly believe the key to reducing incidents on our roads is through education and awareness. That is why our industry continually partners with a range of stakeholders to promote education through campaigns such as THINK and designated drivers.”