17:36 21 January 2014
Despite fierce criticism from road safety and alcohol campaigners, the first motorway pub has opened for business in the Extra Motorway Service Area at junction 2 of the M40 in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.
Pub Chain JD Wetherspoon says The Hope & Champion, which cost £1m to build, will be open from 4am to 1am, seven days a week.
Meanwhile, critics are against the move as they believed that the location of the pub is “at odds” with public opinion. Based on a survey of 2,000 people conducted by RAC, , there were only 12per cent of respondents who supported putting pubs into motorway service stations.
The RAC's head of external affairs Pete Williams 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.”
Another one to oppose the move is Sir Ian Gilmore, a Royal College of Physicians special adviser on alcohol and chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance, who said: "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."
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