I reckon it’s time that we scrapped bank holidays

Mo Farrah after missing out on a gold medal
				 Picture: Adam Davy

VERITY LUSH: Leave me to browse the make-up counter in peace

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Bank holidays are different for a radio presenter. As with public transport and retail, the broadcast world never stops.

A normal Monday would see my show mixed up with plenty of music, witty banter, fun competitions and regular information sequences.

The phones ring, there are Facebook updates aplenty and texts 20 to the dozen. Except for this Monday. It was oh-so quiet.

The newsroom was empty, the travel desk was quiet.

But the roads were very busy, traffic out of Portsmouth was slow and the Spur Road out of Bournemouth was a car park.

Why do we have bank holidays? I know they date back to 1871 when four were introduced, but why? Who decreed that this country should grind to a halt on such days each year?

Indeed, bank and public holidays are now so ingrained in the UK psyche there would be riots if they were abolished.

Not everyone gets the day off though. Shops are open, buses replace trains, the weather (usually) is miserable, the roads jam and airports cannot cope with the demand, while holiday companies put up their prices.

When you consider that the eight holidays a year cost our economy around £20bn, is it not time to scrap this old-fashioned idea?

Back in 1871 there were no unions. Workers had no rights and the words health and safety were never used in the same sentence.

By 1971, when new laws were introduced on such holidays, workers were very much protected by unions.

Today, things have changed. Sunday trading, 24-hour television and radio. We demand more. We want service every day.

Religious holidays aside, can we really afford not to be working in this day and age?

Not everyone is able to have the day off, so why not give workers an extra week’s mandatory holiday a year?

Doesn’t it make better sense if we can take that time off just when it suits us best?

The economy doesn’t suffer and we all get to enjoy precious time off and not have to suffer repeats of Last Of The Summer Wine put on just to fill the TV schedule!