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Oxford services

Oxford
Welcome Break
Facilities | Rating | ReviewsOxford services
Road:M40 at J8a
(also accessible to traffic on the A40 and the A418)

MAP AND DIRECTIONS
Address:Welcome Break
Waterstock
Oxford
Oxfordshire
OX33 1LJ
Telephone number:01865 877000
Signposted from the road?Yes
Opened:1998
Grid reference:SP624047
Services type:Single site located at a junction.
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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 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. It has a good amount of open space at the back, but this is slowly filling with new and trial facilities.

Facilities

Catering: Burger King, Harry Ramsden's, KFC, Starbucks, Starbucks Drive Thru, Subway, Tossed, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme, Yorkshire Tea Shops: Fone Bitz, Little Waitrose, WHSmith Main Amenities: Ecotricity electric vehicle charging point, Meeting Room, Picnic Area, Showers, Tesla Supercharger, Welcome Break Gaming Motel: Ramadabook Forecourt: BP, WHSmith, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme, Air1 AdBlue

Parking Prices

First two hours free for all vehicles, after which HGVs, caravans and coaches must pay £27, or £29 to include a £9 meal voucher.

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

Trivia

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.

In July 2015, Oxford was one of three sites to gain a Tesla Supercharger, the first three on the motorway network.

Planning Process

Oxford services construction.
The services under construction.

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.

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 site of the services crosses an abandoned railway line.

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 it's 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 as Wheatley Triangle.

Opening

The services opened on 19 July 1998 by Anthea Turner and were expected 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.

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.

Brands

Oxford has been used to trial many major brands over time, including the Krispy Kreme store in December 2012, Waitrose and Dunkin' Donuts in July 2014.

A Pizza Express restaurant is due to open here in October 2017, the first of seveveral planned openings. It will be built in a new building next to the hotel, which will be in a similar style to the building housing Ed's Easy Diner at South Mimms.

The hotel underwent a major refurbishment and reopened on 1 October 2014 as Ramada, replacing Days Inn.

Survey Results

Use with care. Outdated surveys have been included for interest only.

In 2015, 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)
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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