Alcohol to be sold at M9 and M80 service station

ALCOHOL is set to be sold at one of Scotland's busiest motorway service areas for the first time.

Concerns have been raised by a local councillor about the risk of consumers purchasing alcohol to consume on-site at the service station. Picture: Michael Gillen

The premises licence has been granted to the new Marks & Spencer Simply Food at Moto services on the M9 at Junction 9 at Bannockburn, where the M9 and M80 meet.

It follows moves to relax a law that used to ban the sale of alcohol at motorway service stations.Members of Stirling Licensing Board chose to grant approval for the application despite fears about drink being consumed and advertised on the site.

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Police raised no objections to the plans to sell alcohol between the hours of 10am and 10pm at the store.

The services have been open since 1985, when the land was handed over to the former Granada Services company by the Secretary of State in order to create a rest area.

M&S called for the application to be accepted as the majority of their customers access the store for buying food and other items to consume at home.

Speaking on behalf of M&S, representative Robert Skinner told the licensing board: “People tend to go to these stores because of the quality of their food.

“Some of you may remember the much parodied ‘This is not just any food, this is M&S food. The licence is aimed at complementing that offering.Almost all M&S Simply food stores are licensed.”

SNP councillor Gerry McLaughlan said that he had concerns about people drinking at the service station.

He said: “There is a seating area outside in the car park.

“This is well known as a rest area and I know that people do use it regularly.

“My fear is that people may purchase drink and then sit outside and have it with their Burger King meal.”

Councillor McLaughlan also said that a large number of football supporters pass through the services and could buy drink from M&S there.

A similar licence was granted to an M&S store situated at services on the M90 at Kinross, and the meeting heard that sales there had grown after the licence was granted.