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Controversial pub opens at M40 services

A new JD Wetherspoon pub, named The Hope & Champion, has opened on the M40, amidst plenty of criticism and a lack of public support.
Controversial pub opens at M40 services

Sky News reports that the pub will be open from 4am to 1am every day of the week, located at junction 2 of the M40 at the Extra Motorway Service Area, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.

It is the first time that a pub has been opened at a motorway services, and an RAC survey suggests the public are not on board.

Of 2,000 people involved in the survey, just 12% supported the idea.  Around 20% of those aged between 18 and 34 gave their backing, and just 8% of over-55s.

Pete Williams, RAC's head of external affairs, said: “The public appear to be very much against the introduction of motorway pubs.

“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.”

Sir Ian Gilmore, Royal College of Physicians special adviser on alcohol and chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance, gave his views: “I am disappointed by the decision to open a JD Wetherspoon on the M40.

“We are trying to prevent harm from alcohol-related traffic accidents and this sends out completely the wrong message.”

Steve Baldwin, manager at The Hope & Champion, offered a different view, somewhat unsurprisingly, saying: “The Extra Motorway Service Area, now including The Hope & Champion, primarily serves the motorway users, but its facilities are also available to the surrounding community from the local road network.”