Highlands & Islands

Highland nightclub curfew to be abolished

Man holding a pint
Image caption The rules were introduced as a way of better managing Inverness's night-time economy

A so-called "Cinderella curfew" which restricts late night drinking in the Highlands is to be abolished.

The requirement for pubs and nightclubs in Aviemore, Inverness and Thurso to refuse entry to people after midnight was introduced in 2003.

Critics said it restricted competition and encouraged binge drinking before and after the deadline.

After a two and a half hour meeting in Inverness, Highland councillors voted to remove the curfew.

The restriction was put in place as a way of managing night-time economies and policing, and easing pressure on taxi ranks.

The police wanted the current rules to remain, but opponents said that they made the Highlands a laughing stock.

Highland Licensing Board agreed in June to review its door entry policy and sought views from the public.

Fifty-nine responses were received during the public consultation.

Thirty-eight respondents supported removal of, or changes to, the curfew. Sixteen respondents said it should be retained as it is, or in a slightly altered form, while five were neutral or had no comment to make on the policy.

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