Hereford & Worcester

Worcestershire pub offers tent sleepovers to drinkers

Tents outside pub
Image caption The pub cleared away its garden furniture and put six sleeping tents and a toilet tent in their place

A pub is offering free overnight accommodation - and breakfast - in an effort to prevent drinking and driving.

The Drum and Monkey, near Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire, has put up tents so drinkers who have an extra pint do not take to the road.

Landlady Lizzie Jennings said she wanted to offer patrons a free service because it is the season of goodwill.

But anti-drinking and driving charities said people could still be unsafe to drive the following morning.

'Clever gimmick'

Carol Whittingham from the Campaign Against Drinking and Driving, said the scheme could encourage people to get drunk and they may still be over the limit when they woke up.

Mrs Whittingham, whose son was killed by an over-the-limit driver in 1993, said: "It's a clever gimmick by an entrepreneurial landlady.

Image caption The tents can accommodate 19 people, and beds and sleeping bags are provided

"You have to give her full marks for coming up with something that actually makes people talk about the issue."

Local tent manufacturer and a customer at the pub, Daniel Walton, who is providing the shelters, denies the arrangement will encourage people to get drunk.

"[The pub] is in a remote rural area and isn't the sort of place where people go to get hammered," he said.

"It's not like it's in the centre of town, it's out in the country and there is no bus route, so people could be tempted to drink and drive."

Miss Jennings added: "Tents can't be reserved. This isn't for people to think 'let's go and get lashed and have a night of it'.

"It's for people who think they may have had one pint too many and don't want to risk it.

"It's a community service and part of being a responsible landlady."

The scheme runs until 1 January 2014.

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