|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 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.
Main Amenities: Picnic Area, Welcome Break Gaming, 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, Dunkin' Donuts, Baskin Robbins
Shops: WHSmith, Fone Bitz, Waitrose
Motel: Days Inn[book rooms]
Forecourt: BP, WHSmith, Costa Express, Air1 AdBlue
First two hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £11.
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 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.
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.
The hotel is currently undergoing a major refurbishment to soon become branded as Ramada, replacing Days Inn.
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.
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.
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.
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:
|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)|
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