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Wetherspoons to move on to motorway

05 | 06 | 13

JD Wetherspoon is set to open a venue on the M40. 

The pub-restaurant chain has been granted permission to operate an outlet at junction two of the motorway near Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.

It will be the first licensed bar on the network to operate 24-hours a day, although alcohol can only be served from 8am to 1pm. The new site will cost £2 million to develop and is expected to create around 50 jobs.

However, the plans have proved controversial and have provoked claims that opening a pub on the motorway could encourage drink-driving. 

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, commented: "Most drivers are sensible, but you have to question a policy that encourages drivers to pull off to take a break and then offers them up a pint."

Wetherspoons has released a statement defending its decision, in which it claimed the majority of people using the pub are unlikely to be drivers and will be passengers on coach trips or travelling with others. 

A company spokesperson said its staff will not be asking customers if they are driving before serving drinks.

Wetherspoons chairman Tim Martin claimed he hopes the venue is the first of many to be opened on the motorway network. 

"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," he commented.

Wetherspoons is arguably the most successful and well known pub-restaurant chain in the UK and uses catering equipment to provide customers with meals throughout the country. 

In the 13 weeks to April 28th, the company experienced a like-for-like sales increase of 6.3 per cent, while its total sales were up by 9.3 per cent. This contributed to an operating margin of 8.5 per cent for the same period.

It intends to open 30 new venues by the end of the current financial year.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801594799-ADNFCR

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