A NEW convenience store serving surrounding villages as well as drivers taking a break has been officially opened at Chippenham Pit Stop.

It is the latest step by the Pit Stop team to further cement their links within the local community while striving to make improve their truckers' stopover.

Transforming the site’s former shop into a full convenience store stocking local produce, essentials and other items was part of a £140,000 improvement scheme, which also involved upgrading the restaurant.

Nick Greene, chairman of Stanton St Quintin parish council, cut the ribbon and declared the Draycot Stores open for business during a ceremony at the site, which is just off junction 17 of the M4.

He said: “It will be very valuable to the community. Stanton St Quintin has a school and a beautiful church but the post office closed about 30 years ago and we never had a village shop. Now we have this marvellous facility right on our doorstep.”

Chippenham Pit Stop also has an on-site barber and recently made headlines when it opened an outdoor gym for lorry drivers to use before getting back behind the wheel.

Managing director David Hatherell said after a long day on the road, the team wanted to do all they could to make life easier for drivers who were often away from home for days at a time.

He said: "Besides providing hot showers in spotless surroundings and quality meals, we have also introduced a small lending library and an internet bar with touch screens for the use of our clients."