While the Tories/Lib Dems and even the Greens!!!, are all moaning about potential armaggeddon and how pubs in residential areas shouldn't be allowed to open after granny's bedtime, they are completely missing the point. It's the quiet residential pubs that are going to make 24 hour opening a success. A quiet residential pub doesn't really make any noise anyway (think of lock-ins), and people making noise in residential areas are generally coming back home from city centre bars. You won't stop this by not opening local pubs. Strict penalties for pubs that have troublesome noisy customers is the way to stop noise and trouble.
So it's a big disappointment to find that a lot of pubs have only extended drinking to midnight. This certainly WILL cause problems. To stop binge drinking, we have to stop closing time. I hope these pubs see the error of their ways and quickly apply for later licences. What we need are pubs that say- we'll open to at least midnight, and then keep going while there are still enough people left to make it viable. That is what happens abroad. There should never be a time where you have loads of customers having to rush their drinks because they are being told to drink up and leave. We certainly know how to cause problems for ourselves in this country.