A Wetherspoon’s pub on the M40? Sounds like a Bernard Manning joke…

Road safety charities say the Hope and Champion offers ‘deadly temptation’

At the time of writing, if I might risk letting daylight in on the magic of both my medical state and my diary engagements, a mysterious inflammation of the right foot places a scheduled trip to Birmingham to meet friends for dinner in jeopardy. Ordinarily, the inability to walk would necessitate a cancellation, yet a brand new inducement makes the journey irresistible.

In accord with a rationale that no amount of intensive research has managed to illuminate, the first public house on a British motorway opened yesterday at Junction 2 of the M40 (Beaconsfield). Assuming that I stopped off on the way home at  JD Wetherspoon’s The Hope and Champion to research this development over a few pints, I may be enjoying a light breakfast from the security of a Buckinghamshire police station cell as you read this. Such are the sacrifices fearless investigative journalism demands of us.

At first sight, for reasons that could not possibly be spelled out without deriding your intelligence, this seems a notably eccentric innovation. On the other hand, late night motorway driving is quite hazardous enough as it is – and as the late Bernard Manning sagely observed, there’s absolutely nothing worse than having a car crash when you’re stone cold sober.

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