The majority of people are opposed to moving the May Day bank holiday to another date, a survey has shown.

The Government is consulting on the idea of moving the bank holiday to one in October or in March or April to boost tourism. But DIY and gardening retailers are moving to block the idea, arguing that the change would decimate sales on one of the most important trading weekends of the year.

A poll commissioned by B&Q and the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) found that 78% of the 2,050 people polled want the May Bank holiday to remain in May rather than moved, with most claiming they are more likely to make day-trips in May because of the better weather.

15% were in favour of moving it to October and 7% would prefer to have it in March or April.

71% of people were in favour of introducing a new bank holiday, while keeping the traditional May Day holiday.

B&Q chairman and chief executive of parent Kingfisher UK and Ireland Euan Sutherland said: “The sentiment is clear, hands off our May Day holiday.  This is a national holiday so the public has a right to decide whether it should or shouldn’t be moved and the majority want to keep the May bank holiday where it is.”

David Gwyther, HTA director general, said: “The May Bank Holiday is one of the busiest and most important trading days of the year.   It would therefore be an enormous blow if the industry was to lose it, and such a significant loss of earnings would undoubtedly affect employment levels.”

Meanwhile B&Q has promoted Chris Ward to the board-level position of value chain director.

Ward, who moves from his current role of divisional director central division, will represent IT on the B&Q board, and will work closely with parent Kingfisher’s IT team.

His previous roles at B&Q include director of IT, director of value chain development and director of logistics.

Ward replaces Tim O’Connell who moves to take on a broader value chain remit for Kingfisher.

Martyn Phillips, who was appointed chief executive of B&Q last month, as revealed by Retail Week, said: “Chris has been a member of the B&Q team for nearly eight years and I am delighted that he will now be leading Value Chain in a year with major developments in this area.”