Tuesday, 4 June 2013


Well, Wetherspoon's have finally gone and done it, as they are about to open their first boozer - on a M40 service station in Buckinghamshire.

There was the usual outpouring of condemnation and outrage from the anti drink-drive campaigners and the predictable bleating from Alcohol Concern. "A disaster waiting to happen" and "Absolutely astounded" - being two typical comments.

Err...Where were all these comments prior to the planning application being submitted? You had 28 days to appeal - for the record there was no-one who opposed the plan!

Now, I can fully understand the public's concern with news of a pub on a motorway service station. However, what is the big deal?

For a start, French AutoRoute services have been flogging beer and wine for decades - with no obvious problems.

It's down to the individual to act responsibly. He or she knows the score. It doesn't stop non-drivers from having a tipple - and more than likely at a reasonable price - unlike the rip-off businesses, within close proximity!

I can see the headline: Pint in Wetherspoon's cheaper than a bottle of water in WH Smith!

Let's face it, Wetherspoon's have pulled off a masterstroke. Cheap food, cheap coffee and customer-friendly priced alcohol - it will give punters a choice over extortionately priced outlets on the service station area. I can see the likes of MOTO, squirming and wincing right now - like we are bothered!

Coach parties and families will love it. Rejoice, a reasonably priced coffee, sandwich and snifter. No more panic attacks at the MOTO check-out till!

Anyway, is there much difference between plonking a pub on a service station and opening a boozer within a hundred yards of a motorway exit?

A good friend of mine quite rightly pointed out, that there are plenty of pubs on major motorway junctions - he having worked at one, namely. the Walton Fox, at the end of the M65 in Preston.

So, to be honest, I will not be subscribing to all the negative press, that will no doubt be in evidence, once 'Wethers' open their doors - and I think that will be the intention of  the vast majority who are reading this blog.