First motorway pub in England opens

20 Jan, 2014 12:30pm Jonathan Burn

JD Wetherspoon has opened the first pub at a motorway service station in England on the M40, raising road safety concerns

High Street pub chain JD Wetherspoon has opened the doors of the first motorway service station pub. Located at Beaconsfield services on the M40 in Buckinghamshire, the pub will be open from 4am to 1am seven days a week, raising concern among road safety campaigners.

The Hope and Champion pub will be able to sell alcohol from 9am and is claimed to be ‘the first of many Wetherspoons on the motorway’ by chairman Tim Martin.

Road safety group, Brake, is concerned about the opening, with a spokesmen telling the BBC: “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.”

• New British sports car brand to launch

“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.”

The organisation claims one in six deaths on UK roads are down to drink driving. In 2012, 280 people were killed and 1,210 suffered serious injuries in crashes caused by drivers over the drink drive limit.

Do you think a pub at a motorway service station is a good idea or not? Tell us in the comments section below...

Disqus - noscript

This is the most ridiculous thing I have heard in years! Wetherspoons may well be known for value alcohol and food on the high street, but there is no place for this kind of operation on a motorway. It sends totally the wrong message.
Whilst I can almost understand the company trying it on, irresponsible as that maybe, what should be condemned is the decision made by those granting the licence. They are fools.

You could always stop off for a pint in a local pub just off the motorways anyway. I think if they offer the value they do in there ordinary pubs then it will be a huge success! No more rip off sarnies or soft drinks

Seems silly until you realise that Wetherspoons serve the second highest number of breakfasts each day in the UK,...second only to McDonalds.

I completely concur with the opinion expressed by jtwarwick. By all means grant Wetherspoons consent to open an eatery on the motorway but a Pub is absolute nonsense. The justices who granted the licence should be sacked. This is the height of governmental hypocrisy when there is a campaign against drink-driving and then this sort of ludicrous thing happens. We are it seems, after all, governed by idiots!

I'm afraid it all boils down to profit before safety - full stop

I very rarely comment on this columns, but this story really got my back up.
I'd like to know who gave the go ahead for such a stupid idea. I'd also like to know the size of the back hander that was received!!!!!

No difference to having a pub near an A road or a B road

Serving alcohol on the motorway in Europe does not seem to be a problem and please remember that other people beside car drivers use the motorway.
It just shows that by your comments you can't trust the British mentality and their ability to act responsibly.

IF the prices are good compared to "Motorway Rip-off" establishments , then it is a good idea, it could force the prices down on service stations.

what is wrong with a pub on the moterway.You do not have to drink alcahole to be in a pub and not all people drive using them (coach trips passengers.

If Drivers get drunk from consuming alcohol at a service station then that is their own stupid fault no one elses.

This is motivated purely by profit, not customer choice. Everyday you see drivers acting irresponsibly on the roads and this will just add to the possibilities. It might only be the odd one who indulges, but how many does it take to cause a serious accident at motorway speeds?

What an idiotic move to have a pub on a motorway. Once again the profit motive prevails over common sense and responsible action. Utmost stupidity

The main issue is anyone foolish enough to have a skinful could be doing be a ton on the motorway not 30mph and depending on the traffic and road conditions, that is storing up a slightly bigger accident than a drunk hitting a tree in a side street.

For goodness sake. It's not even on the motorway. As many other pubs, it is actually just off an A road.

"Serving alcohol on the motorway in Europe does not seem to be a problem"
The main point is most people driving in Europe are not British.
We love to get fissed as part.
What about drug driving?
Surely just as dangerous but never checked for.
Wetherspoons are taking a very big gamble with this.
Time will tell, but looking at the way BBC and Sky news have reported this today, they are just waiting for something bad to happen.

This is the worst and most dangerous idea I have ever heard of !!!

This is a great idea that should have been embodied years ago. W.e have always been able to buy alcoholic drinks at motorway service stations on the continent so why is the UK so backward? Most drivers are more sensible than we give them credit for, and why should the passengers be denied an alcoholic drink if they want one, to say nothing of all the coach passengers that visit motorway service stations. Well done J.D.Wetherspoon!!

Its the most proposterous idea i have ever heard of. Surely we should be trying to increase road safety and not be increasing the road danger. Stupid stupid stupid what can i say except stupid. Totally STUPID

The thing that really jumps out at me is - why can't people wait just a short time before they have an alcoholic drink? Are people in this country incapable of functioning without alcohol for short periods (e.g. on long journeys).

Australia is awash in a sea of alcohol that leads to domestic bashings, street brawls that end in murder and drunken car accidents which grace the TV news almost every day. I don't know if the situation is as bad in the UK but pubs on the motorways sound like a good start.

Nothing wrong with a pub in a motorway service area, as long as its only the passengers and not the drivers that drink alcohol. However its down to the public to act responsibly in these matters, and can they be trusted to do so?
Anyway, if Weatherspooons offer better value then that's good. Up to now I only use motorway services to use the toilet, and eat my own food, and I never pay their exorbitant fuel prices.

Well that's that settled then. The government's drink drive campaign isn't as important as money, meaning we're all free to say it's also not as important as anything else we wish to say. Years of work undone.

The point is who the victim is, but whose fault it is.