Friday, 4 January 2008

YHA - Youth Hostel (24HR) Alcohol

News has reached the Northern Herald that by the end of this year nearly all Youth Hostels will be able to sell alcohol on a 24 hour basis.

As a frequent user of YHA facilities, the transformation of the hostels over the last 10 years has been astounding. Most buildings have been modernised, rooms converted to include bathroom/toilet and families made more welcome. Nearly all hostels provide meals now. Despite all this they have maintained their unpretentious atmosphere and value for money.

However, the 24 hour extension is a bad move. It will in the main attract an unwanted element, groups of people whose only desire is to drink all day and night, away from the confines and controls of hotels and pubs. It will also have a negative effect on surrounding communities.

The YHA currently operates a “Rent A Hostel Scheme”, whereby patrons can occupy a hostel to themselves for a number of days. Together with the 24 hour policy, I can see trouble ahead for the Association. Drinking parties, stag weekends and all day drinking sessions will prevail.

Is there no area within our lives which will be free from the binge drinking attitude which dominates today’s society?

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