BOLTON'S first drive-through coffee shop opened its doors this morning to help get you through the daily grind - and The Bolton News was the first in line to try it.

From 5.30am this morning drivers were invited to pull into the filter lane at the new Costa Coffee in Lower Bridgeman Street and get hot drinks and food - all from the comfort of their car.

The Bolton News was ready and waiting to be served as new manager Daniel Dunphy opened the barrier to get the first drink ever served from the drive through.

The store, which also has facilities for people to be served inside and to sit down and enjoy their drinks, is open from 5.30am until 10.30pm Monday to Friday, 5.30am until 10.30pm on Saturday and 6am until 9pm on Sunday.

The Bolton News:

Manager Daniel Dunphy opens the drive-through

It is situated just off St Peter's Way making it an ideal location for a drive-through, bringing in customers after they have driven into town.

Getting the store open has taken around two-and-a-half years and Mr Dunphy is happy to finally have it open.

He said: "It has been a long wait. It is a really great set up here.

"We're the first local drive-through coffee shop. It has been a work in progress for about two-and-a-half years.

"It is a good location and we saw there was a gap in the market for this sort of thing."

The shop currently employs 18 people but Mr Dunphy said there is potential for more people to be brought on if it is busy.

The Bolton News:

Many of the people that have been brought in have come through the job centre.

Mr Dunphy said: "In all we have 18 staff. Depending on how busy we are we may employ another few.

"We will see how it goes with advertising and getting people talking about it.

"We have done a lot of work with the local job centre, with people that are unemployed for one reason or another. All of our external people have come through the job centre."

Our Verdict - Crime reporter Alex Peace gives the new shop a try:

I'm happy to admit that getting out of bed at 4.50am is not my ideal way to start a Wednesday, but in the name of journalism (and coffee) I did so.

Failing to factor in the lack of traffic, I was a bit early (about 15 minutes) so had to sit in the car park like I was the world's most enthusiastic Costa Coffee customer.

Eventually, manager Mr Dunphy came out and removed the chain and the drive-through was open for business.

I drove my Ford Fiesta through the entrance and to the speaker where you place your order.

This may seem like a small point but I could clearly hear Mr Dunphy asking for my order and more importantly, he could hear me.

Sometimes with these systems you find yourself being shouted at and screaming at the server in return, just so you can hear each other, but there was no such problem here.

I then swiftly moved onto the service window where Mr Dunphy was preparing the caramel latte and bacon sandwich that I had ordered.

The key thing with a drive-through is speed and within a couple of minutes I had my order and was on my way again.

Next was how it all tasted, as the drinker of far too many Costa caramel lattes in my life, I know what a good one tastes like, and more importantly, what a bad one tastes like.

Thankfully, I can report on this occasion it was a good one, the perfect sweetness and hot - and the bacon sandwich wasn't too bad either.

My final verdict is definitely a positive one and I know I am going to be tempted on far too many occasions just to nip through on my way to work - I might just leave it until a bit later in the morning next time.