After the announcement that JD Wetherspoon is set to open its first pub at a motorway service station, ITV News viewers have been giving their views on the issue on our Facebook page:
– Nicola Gittings
That's just enticing drivers to drink ... it's wrong.
– Sue Mccarney
Finally a move that puts responsibility back in our hands!
They serve great value meals for families, it's our responsibility to not drink and drive. If you can't walk into a pub without being tempted into drinking then you shouldn't be driving at all!
– Lisa Hudson
Pathetic idea! Yeah the food's ok but really ... [a] pub on a motorway [is] not a great idea is it.
The road safety charity Brake has said that the opening of the first motorway pub is "desperately worrying" as it could pose a "potentially deadly temptation to drivers".
Spokesperson Richard Coteau said: "There is widespread misunderstanding about the fact that even a small amount of alcohol has a significant impact on your ability to drive safely, so it’s desperately worrying that some drivers might think it’s okay to stop off for a quick drink on their way home."
"Research is clear that just one drink inflates your crash risk. That’s why our advice to drivers is if you are driving, don't drink any amount of alcohol – not a drop," he added.
The chairman of the Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA), which brings together organisations focussed on tackling alcohol misuse, has condemned plans for the first Wetherspoon motorway pub:
To reduce alcohol-related harm, we have to reduce its availability, not increase it. Opening a bar at a service station sends out completely the wrong message if we are trying to prevent harm from alcohol-related traffic accidents.
The AHA believes that a fundamental review of licensing law is required which focuses on controlling the availability of alcohol and reducing alcohol-related harm.
– Sir Ian Gilmore, chairman, Alcohol Health Alliance
Public health should be a licensing objective in its own right, taking into consideration the total number of premises selling alcohol, of all kinds, and the impact of this provision on the health and wellbeing of the local population.
The nation's first Wetherspoon motorway pub will open at the Extra service station on the M40 near Beaconsfield, around four miles outside the capital's M25 ring road.
Extra's website describes it as "one of the newest and most attractive Motorway Service Areas in Europe".
The £2 million development has been given the go-ahead by Thames Valley Police and South Bucks District Council.
As part of its application, JD Wetherspoon said the pub would display notices reminding customers of the dangers of drink-driving, although a spokesman said bar staff would not ask customers whether they were driving.
Pub chain JD Wetherspoon has been given the green light to open its first pub at a motorway service station despite criticism from campaigners that it will "tempt" drivers to drink.
The new bar will open at the Extra service station in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire later this year and will be licensed to serve alcohol between 8am and 1am.
Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin called the unprecedented pub an "exciting new development" and said he hoped its would be "the first of many Wetherspoon's on the motorway".
However, road safety groups including Brake and the Alcohol Health Alliance have condemned the move saying the bar will send the wrong message to drivers.