Moving the Bank Holiday?

Moira Stewart, the woman with the best laugh in the world, says this morning that the Government is thinking of moving the May Bank Holiday – either to April, or to October when it will be called Trafalgar Day.

The unions say it’s a slight on the workers and an excuse for unfettered celebration of capitalism. The government say it will boost tourism.

But there’s a more important reason not to move my day off to October!

Like Goldilocks’s porridge, a Bank Holiday in May is just right for riding. April is just a bit too soon and you can’t count on the weather. And October? You must be joking. I do ride in October, but it needs careful preparation and a great deal of insulation.

And yes, that will be the content of my reply to the Government if they ever get round to publishing a consultation paper instead of just talking about it.

The full story, from the PA:

May Day bank holiday ‘could move’
(UKPA) – Feb 5, 2011

The May Day bank holiday could be scrapped and replaced with a new holiday in the autumn, under plans being considered by the Government.

The possible move to an October bank holiday – potentially called UK Day or Trafalgar Day – follows calls from the tourism industry for a better spread of public holidays across the year.

But unions accused the Tories of attacking the celebration of international workers’ day on May 1.

Government sources denied there was any political dimension to the proposal and stressed that it was subject to consultation. It will be contained in a forthcoming tourism strategy.

Tourism Minister John Penrose said: “Tourism businesses in the UK are brilliant at providing a quality experience for their customers all year round, but Government should play its part in helping them do so.

“An autumn bank holiday, possibly to be branded as a new UK Day, would not only help the industry but also give us all a new focus for celebrating the best of what this country does, and all the things that make us a world-class nation.

“But before we try to take this further, it’s really important that everyone has a chance to consider it properly.

“If people decide they’d rather hang on to the May Day holiday, then so be it, but we ought to consider the options in a sensible way before the country reaches a collective decision.”

Any change would not take place before 2013. There are additional bank holidays this year and next year to celebrate the royal wedding and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee respectively.

The Government is studying the move because the Easter holidays can fall very close to the May Day bank holiday, while an autumn holiday – during the half-term break – would help promote the tourism industry in the later part of the year.

Copyright © 2011 The Press Association. All rights reserved.



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2 responses to “Moving the Bank Holiday?

  1. Unfortunately, the reverse is true for thiose who work in businesses that serve the tourism sector. Those are the days we are told we can't take off, for 'business reasons'. Personally, I would welcome fewer Bank Holidays in the Spring and more later in the year, to even things up a bit. I have plenty of rallies and events planned for May, but it has been done by carefully working round Bank Holidays and using up my existing holiday entitlement.

    And October can be a lovely time for a run out – a little chilly perhaps, but if the air is clear there can be some very fine days. I commute by bike all year round, so for me October is still classified as 'late summer'. 🙂

  2. Well, you can't win them all. I hope you get a nice summer day, but if not buy a new jacket and put on your long underwear and make the best of it. It's about what's happening here in Virginia for the moment.

    Behind Bars – Motorcycles and Life

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