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Oxford

Oxford
Welcome Break
Oxford
Road:M40 at J8a
(also accessible to traffic on the A40 and the A418)
Address:Welcome Break
Waterstock
Oxford
Oxfordshire
OX33 1LJ
Telephone number:01865 877000
Signposted from the road?As Starbucks/Waitrose
Opened:1998
Previous names:Wheatley
Grid reference:SP624047
Services type:Single site located at a junction.
Visit Oxford/Welcome Break's official website
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This is the Welcome Break service area on the M40 at J8a. For Welcome Break's new services at the A34/A40/A44 junction in Oxford, see Peartree. For Moto's site at J10 see Cherwell Valley.

Modern services on the M40, Oxford is notable for its landscaping and fountains around the front. There is a good amount of open space around the sides, however these all back on to motorways and main roads.

Contents

Facilities

Main Amenities: Picnic Area, Welcome Break Gaming, Children's Play Area, Showers, Meeting Room, Ecotricity Electric Vehicle Charging Point
Restaurants: Starbucks, Burger King, KFC, Papa John's Pizza, Subway, Harry Ramsden's, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme
Shops: WHSmith, Fone Bitz, Waitrose
Motel: Days Inn[book rooms]
Forecourt: BP, WHSmith, Costa Express, Air1 AdBlue

Parking Prices

First two hours free for all vehicles. Further information is not available, please update this if you know.

Prices can be paid in the shop and restaurant, with instructions in each car park. They are strictly enforced by ParkingEye.

Trivia

The services opened on the 19th July 1998 by Anthea Turner and were thought to be the last services to open on the M40, a road which originally held the record for the longest major road that doesn't have any services.

On 6 December 2012, Oxford was the first Welcome Break site to open a Krispy Kreme outlet inside the services. The Waitrose store was the first on a motorway.

Papa John's Pizza reopened here on Wednesday 19 February 2014 in its own 'bespoke outlet' due to Eat In being replaced by Subway and Harry Ramsden's which both opened here on Friday 21 February 2014.

There is a kennels and farm accessed from within the services. The cul-de-sac they are on leads to an original, isolated section of the A40.

Planning Process

The original (1994) design for the building was of a courtyard design, like Sarn Park crossed with Lymm.

The southern-facing sliproads at J8a were added specially for the services, and it was first planned for the northbound offslip to lead straight into the service area. The site of the services crosses an abandoned railway line.

When the services were proposed other plans were considered at Tetsworth, Stokenchurch and Lewknor. Another site was considered on the other side of J8a, where there is a golf site, put forward by Wyatt Bros.

Before the services were built, one of the final changes saw the removal of a second storey from the new planned building. But unlike its sister site at Hopwood Park, the second storey would have housed only offices.

Naming

The early plans listed the services as 'Wheatley', but this was changed to Oxford upon opening. Like many services, this decision has attracted criticism as they're not that close to Oxford, and Welcome Break's other site at Peartree is actually closer to Oxford than their 'Oxford' site. Prior to it opening the site was known as Lower Farm, and briefly Wheatley Triangle.

Opening

Within a week of the services opening, the fire brigade were called twice: firstly there was a minor petrol leak and a few days later a fire was started deliberately in the toilets. The latter incident happened just two days after Welcome Break lost their nearby South Mimms services in a large fire.

Survey Results

In May 2012 and August 2011, Visit England rated the services as 4 stars.

In 2008 the services won a five star loo award. They came top in the English motorway services category.

In 2007, the services won a four star loo award. The petrol station was won a three star one.

In 2006 both the building and the petrol station won a four star loo award.

Also in 2006, Holiday Which? rated the services at 4 out of 5.

In 2005 the services won a five star loo award.

The services were inspected by the AA on the 3rd and 5th of April 2004. These are their results:

Category:Rating:
Road safety and parking:Acceptable
Outdoor facilities:Good
Access and indoor facilities:Acceptable
Catering:Good
Shop:Very Good
Service:Very Good
Communications:Very Poor
Hygiene:Acceptable
Pricing:Very Poor
Final Score:Acceptable

The services were said to be clean and appealing in many areas, but they had high prices.

Alternatives

Previous:Next:
Beaconsfield (24 miles)Services on the M40 Cherwell Valley (20 miles)
noneServices on the A40 Peartree (10 miles)
Didcot (A34 south, 19 miles)
South Mimms (M25 east, 52 miles)
London Gateway (M1 south, 49 miles)
Welcome Break services Warwick (44 miles)

Visitor Feedback


Views expressed in these comments are those of the individual contributor. They are moderated by Facebook.

AA survey results from the Automobile Association, you can view the full report and what they were looking for in this PDF document.

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