First motorway pub opened

The first pub located at a motorway service station has been opened on the M40 in Beaconsfield

The first pub at a motorway service station has been opened, despite facing fierce opposition from road safety and alcohol campaigners.

It is located at the Extra Motorway Service Area at junction two of the M40 in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.

The pub, known as The Hope and Champion, is owned by JD Wetherspoon and will be open seven days a week from 04:00 GMT to 01:00 GMT and will serve alcohol from 09:00 GMT. It cost close to £1.2 million to set up.

Road safety charity Brake and the Road Haulage Association (RHA) are among the groups that have spoken out against the opening of a pub at a motorway service station.

Brake claimed that the pub would tempt drivers and stated that it should make warnings against drink driving especially clear.

RHA said that as drivers need to leave the motorway to get to the pub, the argument could be that those who are determined to drink will do so. Yet it added that it felt allowing access to a pub in such a location, particularly as there was a single entry and exit sliproad to the motorway, is "irresponsible".

Spokesperson for the RHA Kate Gibbs said: "A motorway can be a dangerous place and users of them must have their wits about them at all times; particularly in poor weather conditions. These respite areas have always operated successfully without the need of an ‘alcohol outlet’ – why change that? Motorway service areas exist primarily to provide a place where tired drivers can stop safely to take a rest – not a pint."

According to a poll by RAC of 2,000 people, only 12 per cent supported the idea that pubs should be put into motorway service stations. Approximately two-thirds of respondents said that they did not agree with the decision to open a pub at a service station, while older drivers were particularly likely to oppose alcohol being sold at motorway service areas.

  • On: 28 January 2014
  • By: CarShop

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