Should May Day bank holiday be moved to October? Vote in our poll!

Simone Kane

May Day, May Day! Are we in danger of losing our beloved May bank holiday?

The answer, it seems, is yes. Or at least, maybe. Frustrated by the cluster of bank holidays during the spring/summer, the tourism industry is asking the government to consider abolishing the traditional May Day bank holiday. Instead, they want to see it replaced with an official day off in October - perhaps slotted in to the school half-term break.

They feel that this would promote tourism late into the year – a public holiday at this time might encourage parents to take a break with the family – but that it could also focus on celebrating the achievements of the nation, with alternative names such as 'UK Day' in the suggestion box.

However, the idea fails to take account of the fact that there are often regional and national variations in the dates for the autumn half-term, particularly in Scotland, where the schools return from their summer break in August.

In a statement, Tourism Minister John Penrose said: '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 in response, union representatives are calling for an extra bank holiday instead, as the UK has one of the lowest public holiday allocations in Europe.

Pictured: a traditional May bank holiday in Blackpool.


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