Check for short measures in Borough pubs and clubs, say Trading Standards

Cocktails. Image: bridgesward/Pixabay
Cocktails. Image: bridgesward/Pixabay

Anyone who continues to be short-measured in the borough’s pubs and clubs should report the issue to Trading Standards, Bedford Borough Council has said.

New research from the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) found that over two-thirds (70 per cent) of beer and wine, checked by Trading Standards professionals, are short measured.

This was based on fieldwork undertaken by local authorities across the UK.

The CTSI’s said that there is more work to be done in ensuring that customers get what they pay for when they order a pint, or a glass of wine, at British pubs, bars, and other establishments.

Adding that the price of alcoholic drinks is at an all-time high, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the average price of a bottle of red wine has increased 8 per cent in the last year, while the average cost of a pint of lager is up 5.6 per cent.

The CTSI said the average deficit for short-measured beer was 4 per cent, while for wine it was 5 per cent.

And claimed that for the average beer drinker, this is a loss of £1.70 per week, or £88.40 per year.

This increases to £2.20 per week (£114.40 per year) for an average wine drinker.

John Herriman, chief executive at CTSI, said: “While this is a snapshot, it is the first time that we have been able to build a national picture of how widespread short measuring of alcoholic drinks are.

“The potential detriment to the average consumer of around £115 every year suggests there is the need for more comprehensive research to better understand the impact of short measures, not just for alcoholic drinks but across a broader spectrum of consumer goods.

“We are calling on the hospitality sector to ensure that consumers get value for money by making sure they are correctly measuring the drinks they are serving to customers in the nation’s pubs and bars and for further research in this area,” he said.

A Bedford Borough Council spokesperson said: “Some businesses may use glasses with line measures on.

“For pints, these are slightly oversized and have a line near the top, if when served a drink is below the relevant line, politely ask the staff for it to be topped up.

“Other pint glasses may contain a pint when filled to the brim (brim measures), these contain a pint when full to the top.

“The law requires a pint of beer to contain at least 95 per cent fluid, if a pint is below this then customers can ask for this to be topped up.

“If people are drinking wine or spirits that are free poured rather than using a measure, and appear to be a short measure, we would suggest asking for the drink to be repoured using the appropriate measure.

“For anything that is short measured, and particularly anything more than 5% short, customers should ask the bar staff for a top-up,” they said.

If anyone continues to be short measured they can report the issue to Trading Standards via the Consumer Advice Service here.

by John Guinn
Local Democracy Reporter