Pubs are closing as a result of big pub companies squeezing the profits of publicans with costly rents and high beer prices.
We are backing the Government's plans to act, but words and proposals need to be translated into urgent action via the introduction of a statutory code, Pubs Watchdog, a guest beer right and a market rent only option for licensees tied to the large pub companies.
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.
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.
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.
– Sir Ian Gilmore, chairman, Alcohol Health Alliance
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.