First motorway services pub now open
The Hope and Champion bar and restaurant is located at the Beaconsfield services and will be open from 4am until 1am seven days a week. It is licensed to sell alcohol from 9am.
Manager of the M40 branch, Steve Baldwin said: ‘The Extra Motorway Service Area, now including The Hope and Champion, primarily serves the motorway users, but its facilities are also available to the surrounding community from the local road network.’
However, the move has caused concern for road safety groups.
Ed Morrow, campaigns officer for road safety charity Brake, said: ‘The opening of a pub on a motorway is a serious concern, presenting a potentially deadly temptation to drivers.
‘Drink driving remains one of the biggest killers on our road, causing devastation to families and communities every day.’
He added: ‘It is vitally important that messages about the dangers of drink driving are as strong and obvious as possible, so drivers know it's not okay to stop off for a quick drink on their way home. Our advice is not to have a drop if you are driving.’
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Pete Williams, head of external affairs at the RAC, said: ‘The public appear to be very much against the introduction of motorway pubs.
‘We appreciate the vast majority of motorists drive responsibly and that alcohol is already available in shops at motorway services, but for many this decision seems to be at odds with common sense. In our view this is a risky and frankly unnecessary move.
‘The question we are struggling to answer is, of all the places to open a pub, why choose a motorway service station?
‘The temptation to drink and drive can only be increased by easier access to alcohol. We therefore urge JD Wetherspoon to do all they can to convey the anti-drink-driving message as strongly as possible at this particular pub.’