JD Weatherspoon to open first motorway pub

June 4, 2013 | By | In News

It is the go-to establishment for a cut-price pint of ale and a very cheap fry-up but Weatherspoon’s pubs will now tempt motorists into their premises to break up long drives.

JD Weatherspoon will open its first motorway pub at the Extra service station on the M40 near Beaconsfield after a successful application to the local council.

Despite the obvious perils of placing a public house next to a busy motorway, the firm says it met with Thames Valley Police and South Bucks District Council to outline its plans and the application received "no representations".

Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin told the BBC: "The company has always been innovative and this is an exciting new development for us.

"Hopefully it will be the first of many Wetherspoon's on the motorway."

The move has been met with concern from road safety charity Brake, which said: “The opening of a pub on the motorway could be of real concern unless safeguards are put in place with strong messages to warn about the dangers of drink-driving.

"As it is putting temptation there in front of drivers, it is doubly important the messages are extra clear. Our advice to drivers is if you are driving, don't drink any amount of alcohol."

Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance, is also very much against the opening of a pub on the motorway. He said: “Opening a bar at a service station sends out completely the wrong message if we are trying to prevent harm from alcohol-related traffic accidents."

But a spokesperson from JD Weatherspoon insisted that the majority of individuals who use the pub to drink would be those who aren’t driving – coach parties or people travelling with others.

When quizzed on whether pub staff would check if an individual is driving, the spokesperson said: “We won't be asking them whether they are driving. It's up to them."

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