The survey covered just over 9,000 pubs i.e. 15% of the national total of 60,000 and therefore a representative sample. Branches found that 124 pubs had closed permanently during 2005. Assuming the same rates for the other 51000 pubs this would mean 816 pubs closed nationally i.e. 68 per month or 15.7 per week. This is a much worse figure than for the last detailed survey which showed 6 pubs closing per week.

The figures get even gloomier if you include pubs which closed during 2005 but which might (but might not) reopen. Here the extrapolated national totals are 1626, 135.5% per month and 31.3 per week.

What's especially notable from the results is the extent to which pub closures have become an urban problem. Over three times as many pubs shut permanently in towns and cities as in rural areas. This no doubt reflects the fact that many village pubs are now well protected by planning policies. Increasingly, local Councils will refuse planning consent to change the use of rural pubs, especially the last one in a village. For pubs in urban areas, few such protections exist - something CAMRA is trying to get changed.

In the Cambridge Branch area we recorded three pubs as closing permanently during 2005 - The Blackamoors Head Victoria Road, Cambridge, The Coach and Horses Trumpington and The Hoops Great Eversden, all converted into restaurants (though there is now a glimmer of hope for The Hoops - see pub news). We also recorded two pubs as closed but might reopen. These were The Wheatsheaf Harlton (which we now know will rise again) and The White Horse West Wickham (see separate article). We have as well two pubs which closed earlier than 2005 but which we still hope will open their doors again - The Swan House Fowlmere and The Five Bells, Newmarket Road, Cambridge.