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Birch services

Birch
Moto
Facilities | Rating | ReviewsBirch services
Road:M62 between J18 and J19

MAP AND DIRECTIONS
Address:Moto Hospitality Ltd
Whittle Lane
Heywood
Lancashire
OL10 2RB
Telephone number:0161 643 0911
Signposted from the road?As Burger King/Costa/M&S
Opened:1972
Previous operators:Taverna, Granada
Previous names:Manchester North
Grid reference:SD847079
Services type:Two sites located between junctions, connected by a pedestrian footbridge.
Visit Birch Westbound/Moto's official website
Visit Birch Eastbound/Moto's official website
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Two different services close to Manchester on the busy M62. The eastbound side is the older and smaller of the two, while westbound is a lot more airy.

Facilities

Catering: Burger King, Costa, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme
westbound only: Eat & Drink Co.
eastbound only: Greggs
Shops: M&S Simply Food, WHSmith
eastbound only: Fone Bitz, Ladbrokes
Main Amenities: Ecotricity electric vehicle charging point, Lucky Coin, Showers
eastbound only: Moto Meetings
Motel: Travelodgebook west | book east Forecourt: BP (with: Air1 AdBlue), Shop, Costa Express

Parking Prices

First two hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £15 and HGVs, caravans and motorhomes £21, or £22.50 to include a £10 food voucher.

Prices are paid using PayByPhone - more details. The location code is 2427 (westbound) and 2426 (eastbound).

The fees are strictly enforced by CP Plus.

Trivia and History

Birch services.
The older, eastbound entrance.

The parking prices used to have an unusual (and rather expensive) tier system, but it has now reverted back to the standard 2-or-24 hours system.

The services were built by Taverna and opened with a long roof, which stretched to the ground.

When Granada took the place over, they painted it brightly in red and white. Inside, the tall roof had a beamed ceiling with differing levels and tables with high skylights throwing light inside. The large café had an area for lorries designated within it. The TV and pin ball machines created a lot of background noise. They trialled a holiday-booking service here, but were quickly told to remove it.

In September 1975 there was a clash between Leeds United and Chelsea fans who stopped on either side of the road and met on the bridge. This resulted in smashed windows, uprooted trees and a total of £3,000 worth of damage. Hooliganism like this was a common threat at service stations in the 1970s.

In 1990 it was expected that plans to build a new motorway alongside the M62 would see Birch services be demolished. The motorway was never built was considered again in 2016.

The original contract to operate the services states it is the westernmost on the M62. At the time it was written, the M62 was expected to end at Manchester, but it was extended to Liverpool.

Westbound Reconstruction

The westbound amenity building was destroyed in a large fire on the 9 October 2003. After losing large sums of cash in a slot machine, Jason New started kicking it. He then went to the shop and bought a lighter, promptly setting fire to the machine. By 1am, the whole westbound side of the services were alight and evacuated. It took 70 fire-fighters four hours to bring the blaze under control.

Whilst the site was being rebuilt, temporary facilities were provided. The petrol station, motel and eastbound services were not affected but were initially evacuated.

The new building caters for 242 cars, 120 lorries and 30 coaches. When it was opened, Moto described the new building as being "the most modern on the motorway network". The bridge over to the other side is not connected to the new building; you have to walk outside to reach it.

Eastbound Work

Granada extended the front of the eastbound services by adding a series of shops for customers to pass on the way in. A second entrance, leading straight to the toilets, has been closed.

In November 2011, the front of the services was damaged in another serious fire.

On 23 March 2017, a refurbished Costa opened. A M&S Simply Food also opened to join its westbound counterpart.

Survey Results

Use with care. Outdated surveys have been included for interest only.


In 2015, May 2012 and August 2011, Visit England rated the services as 3 stars.

In 2006 the westbound services won a four star loo award and the eastbound five stars.

In 1991, a Which? survey rated the services as "average".

A 1978 government review described the services as "pleasant, well managed, but not wildly exciting".

In 1977, Egon Ronay rated the services as "poor".

Alternatives

Previous:Next:
Burtonwood (20 miles)
Rivington (M61, 13 miles)
Lymm (M6 south, 23 miles)
Services on the M62 Hartshead Moor (22 miles)
Lancaster (M6 north, 40 miles)Moto services Ferrybridge (43 miles)
Woolley Edge (M1 south, 42 miles)

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