|Road:||M40 at J8a|
(also accessible to traffic on the A40 and the A418)
|Telephone number:||01865 877000|
|Signposted from the road?||As Starbucks/Waitrose|
|Services type:||Single site located at a junction.|
|Visit Oxford/Welcome Break's official website|
Modern services on the M40, Oxford is notable for its fountains around the front and a play area which the AA described a having a "high entertainment value". There is a good amount of open space around the sides, however these all back on to motorways and main roads.
General: Picnic Area, BT WiFi, Welcome Break Gaming, Children's Play Area, Traffic Information, Showers, Meeting Room
Restaurants: Starbucks, Burger King, Eat In, KFC, Krispy Kreme, Papa John's Pizza
Shops: WHSmith (with Costa Express Krispy Kreme), Fone Bitz, Waitrose
Fuel: BP (with: Costa Express Air1 AdBlue Ecotricity electric vehicle charging point)
Motel: Days Inn[book rooms]
First two hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £10 and caravans, coaches and HGVs £21 or £23.50 to include a meal voucher.
Prices can be paid in the shop and restaurant, with instructions in each car park. They are strictly enforced by ParkingEye.
The services opened on the 19th July 1998 by Anthea Turner and were 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. Until recently they were the most southern services on the M40 (despite two services being planned south of here), although Beaconsfield has now taken this title.
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. The southern-facing sliproads at J8a were added specially for the services, and it was first thought that the northbound offslip would lead straight into the service area.
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.
The services cross an abandoned railway line. They are home to the UK's first Waitrose motorway outlet.
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.
On 6th December 2012, Oxford was the first Welcome Break site to open a Krispy Kreme outlet inside the services.
A new-look Burger King opened here in April 2013.
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.
The services were inspected by the AA on the 3rd and 5th of April 2004. These are their results:
|Road safety and parking:||Acceptable|
|Access and indoor facilities:||Acceptable|
The services were said to be clean and appealing in many areas, but they had high prices.
|Beaconsfield (24 miles)||Services on the M40||Cherwell Valley (20 miles)|
|none||Services 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)|