Interesting Motorway services

Discussion in 'Other Public Transport' started by Yew, 21 Jan 2015.

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  1. Yew

    Yew Established Member

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    Hi all,

    I've recently had cause to pass the architecturally interesting Lancaster (Forton) services on the M6, as pictured below with its large, hexagonal tower which formerly housed a restaraunt (unfortunately no longer, due to fire safety regulations) and hexagonal OTIS elevators;

    [​IMG]
    Image from :http://www.motorwayservices.info/lancaster_forton_services_m6/photos

    And this has got me wondering, are there any other particuarly interesting, be it buildings, history or trivia, motorway (or A road?) services in the UK that you can think of?


    Mod note: I know that in some ways motorways arent entirely public transport, but they sort of are, and this seemed the most suitable area to put a question like this

    Thanks,

    Yew
     
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  3. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    ive always found the ones that actually go over the motorways a thing of wonder as to why they would even do that rather than the normal roadside efforts - I guess purchasing the land was taken into account here but its still a novel idea that amuses me whenever I use one
     
  4. fgwrich

    fgwrich Established Member

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  5. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    It avoids duplicating facilities on both sides of the road. There are ones where the slip road crosses the road to avoid duplicating facilities, like London Gateway (formerly Scratchwood) on the M1 and the new Cobham services on the M25. Alternatively some of the newer ones are built just off the motorway such as Cherwell Valley and Beaconsfield on the M40.
     
  6. Antman

    Antman Established Member

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    As far as I am aware the Beaconsfield services are the only ones to feature a pub, the Hope and Champion
     
  7. Daz28

    Daz28 Member

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    I've sometimes wondered why there was never a motorway service area combined with a train station to make a well facilitated parkway.
     
  8. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I'll never forget visiting my Auntie in Wales and stopping off at the service station on the M4 with impressive views over the (old) Severn Bridge. The route is no longer the M4 (since the new Severn bridge was built) but I believe the service station building is still there, albeit no longer a service station.

    As regards Lancaster, when I was a student there, there was a story that some used to walk up the central reservation to it as a dare. Never tried it myself though !
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I believe there's one on the M1 with a restaurant on the bridge over the motorway (which I must admit, I consider rather groovy !)
     
  9. pdq

    pdq Member

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  10. asharpe

    asharpe Member

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    I think that's Leicester.
     
  11. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

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    Leicester Forest East, I think. But when I was a kid (back in the mid-70s), there was a few on the M1 like that.
     
  12. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    That's a shame if they got rid of them.

    There also used to be one on the M4 with a big slope to the upper floor which used to interest me as a child.
     
  13. starrymarkb

    starrymarkb Established Member

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    Leicester services are due to close soon as the motorway is being widened. That is the problem with bridge services
     
  14. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    It had a 50 year life, that's pretty good.
     
  15. eastwestdivide

    eastwestdivide Established Member

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    Was still there, but closed, in summer 2014. Think it might be listed, or at least the roof is.
     
  16. Antman

    Antman Established Member

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    There have been suggestions of extending Tramlink to Clacket Lane services on the M25, whether they'll ever come to anything remains to be seen.
     
  17. Yew

    Yew Established Member

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    I'm of the understanding that the roof is Listed, however the Little chef is closed (I think, however, the one on the other side of the road is still open? I think it was last time I passed about a year ago)

    Its a shame there couldnt be an escape installed to Forton services to allow the tower to be used again, I would bet the view would be impressive!
     
  18. gordonthemoron

    gordonthemoron Established Member

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    Donnington Services on M1 (J23A) have a Harvester
     
    Last edited: 22 Jan 2015
  19. WestCoast

    WestCoast Established Member

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    M6 Tebay Services in Cumbria are in a rather nice spot. Nice restaurant and farm shop, albeit a bit pricey. Independently run I believe.

    www.tebayservices.com
     
    Last edited: 22 Jan 2015
  20. table38

    table38 Established Member

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    There was a story about someone who, having dined, returned to the car park to find his car had been stolen!

    He contacted the Police, who helpfully located his car in the car park on the other side of the motorway :)
     
  21. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Ha ha, I bet that was an embarrassing day out !
     
  22. freetoview33

    freetoview33 Established Member

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    The now M48 Severn View services. The original building with the views is now offices with the services in a much smaller building! Also with the new motorway junction on the M49 coming I can see these services completely closing. But maybe seeing some just off the Second Bridge at the M49 Junction would be nice, with some good views!
     
  23. johntea

    johntea Established Member

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    How many motorway services are there that can actually be walked to on foot?

    I'm thinking of when I stayed at the Premier Inn South Mimms, 5 minute walk and you go past a small service station that seems more designed for trucks and the like, then a few minutes later you're at the big Welcome Break services.

    Of course, unless you're driving to that particular Premier Inn in the first place it isn't the most accessible! Used to get a taxi from either Potters Bar or High Barnet with it being a lot cheaper than a central London hotel but now prefer Stevenage with the hotels there walking distance from a regular 20 minute train to London!
     
  24. D841 Roebuck

    D841 Roebuck Established Member

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    Been a good few years since I've visited Tebay, but always found it excellent for quality, unlike most of the others.

    To be fair, Michaelwood (M5) was also pretty good - although the joy of having passed Birmingham and being well on the way to Devon and/or Cornwall may have something to do with it.
     
  25. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    I would hope all of them are. They should have non-motorway access in most cases, often onto country lanes or B-roads.
     
  26. Blindtraveler

    Blindtraveler Established Member

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    Is there going to be a replacement? A lot of Nat Ex Coaches use them.↲
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    another vote for Tebay here too, excillent! Its also interesting to observe how many have over the years had multiple refurbishments and redevelopments - Charnock Richard on the M6 being an example here.↲
     
  27. starrymarkb

    starrymarkb Established Member

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    The new Gloucester services are going to be run by the same people as Tebay. Northbound is open but Southbound was still under construction last time I went through. Had planned to stop and look but circumstances (oil level light) meant I used Michaelwood in the end.
     
    Last edited: 24 Jan 2015
  28. Blindtraveler

    Blindtraveler Established Member

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    I hope the Westmorland Groups branching out woant make them greedy or lose there ethos in any way. 1 thing for sure is that the new ones mentioned will be built and fitted out to a very high standard
     
  29. deltic

    deltic Established Member

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    I seem to recall there was some idea to do just that but it was felt it would lead to long distance rail heading so the railways would lose more than it would gain and the car parks would have to be enormous
     
  30. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Indeed. There was nothing like having a coke with a view of the old bridge. As a child, it was really exciting - felt you were going somewhere :)
     
  31. snowball

    snowball Established Member

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    I am old enough to have had a meal in the tower at Forton.

    As far as I'm aware there have only ever been five service areas with catering facilities in the bridge over the motorway, and I think they all still have some version of them: Leicester Forest East on the M1, Medway (formerly known as Farthing Corner) on the M2, and three on the M6: Keele, Knutsford and Charnock Richard. I've used them all except Meday.

    The M1 has already been widened once past Leicester Forest East by abolishing the hard shoulders, but the buildings and bridge survived. I don't think there is a current proposal to widen it again, but there may have been one 5 or 10 years ago, and it could be revived in another 5 or 10 years.

    I think there are a few service areas with no road access except via the motorway. This has been discussed at once or twice on the SABRE forums.

    There's at least one website, possibly two, devoted to service areas.

    My own favourite is Annandale Water on the A74(M). It's nowhere near as good as when it was first built, but the restaurant and lodge still overlook their own lake.
     
    Last edited: 25 Jan 2015
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