Sex shops on the A1 London to Edinburgh route will start selling maps to meet the demands of customers who "just popped in to ask for directions."
Owners of seven adult superstores, which occupy former Little Chef roadside restaurants lining the UK’s premier trunk-road, say they are responding to a swell in demand from customers.
The shops sell a range of lingerie, handcuffs, and synthetic body parts. The Grantham store even stocks a £1500 Margaret Thatcher sex doll, but the item most punters discreetly ask staff for is a fully laminated navigational aid.
“You’d have thought that with sat-nav and Google maps most drivers would be able to find their way to Doncaster or Leeds on what is fundamentally a straight, well-signposted, road running North to South,” says owner Mark Towpath.
“But not a day goes by without my staff being asked if we sell road atlases by a nervous-looking bloke who’s spent twenty minutes apparently looking for them in the rubber fetish aisle.
Mr Towpath says that thanks to traditional British attitudes to shopping, most motorists who pop in for directions will buy a small sex toy out of politeness, but he’s happy to sell them a map if that’s what floats their boat.
“I’ll tell you, I could have retired if we’d stocked copies of the Peterborough A to Z when 50 Shades of Grey came out on DVD,” he said wistfully.