Plans for the first 24 hour pub at a service station on Britain’s motorways came under fire from drink-drive campaigners yesterday (mon).
J D Wetherspoon announced they have got the go-ahead for a £2 million licensed bar and restaurant on the M40 at Beaconsfield, Bucks.
The company has been given permission to open 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week with a licence to serve alcohol from 8am to 1am.
Wetherspoon say the outlet at the Extra’s service area at junction 2 will create up to 50 jobs.
And a company spokesman said they hoped the bar would be the first of many on the nation’s motorway network.
But the Campaign Against Drink Driving said the move was ‘a disaster waiting to happen.’
Founder Carol Whittingham said: “I’m absolutely astounded they have got permission for this.
“People will be tempted to drink and drive and I can’t understand how the local authority has allowed this.
“It is just not necessary – you can buy alcohol on every street corner so why tempt people by having it at motorways as well?
“I can see all sorts of problems and fear it is a disaster waiting to happen.”
Wetherspoons defended the move by saying motorists could already buy alcohol at many supermarket branches at motorway service stations.
And they said they were catering for the tens of thousands of motorway users who are not drivers like coach passengers.
A spokesman said: “We are a responsible company and we will serve people in a resonsible manner.”
The company said they received no objections to the motorway pub from local police or South Bucks District Council who granted the license.
Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin said: “We are looking forward to opening our first licensed bar and restaurant on the motorway network.
“The company has always been innovative and this is an exciting new development for us.
“Hopefully it will be the first of many Wetherspoons on the motorway.”
Andrew Long, chief executive of Extra MSA Group, said: “We are pleased to be working closely with JD Wetherspoon as an important new edition to Extra’s substantial complementary range of major and popular tenant partner brands.
“Wetherspoon’s will serve food, coffee and other hot drinks, together with a wide range of non-alcoholic drinks at all times.”
Wetherspoon said no date has yet been fixed for the opening of the pub and its name has not yet been chosen.