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Burtonwood services

Welcome Break
Facilities | Rating | ReviewsBurtonwood services
Road:M62 at J8

Address:Welcome Break Group Ltd
Burtonwood Motorway Services Area
Great Sankey
Telephone number:01925 651656
Signposted from the road?As Starbucks/KFC
Previous operators:Trusthouse Forte
Grid reference:SJ576913
Services type:Single site located at a junction.
Visit Burtonwood/Welcome Break's official website
Staff Reunion Site
Facebook Page

Once a poorly-reputed service area at the far western end of the M62, a programme of refurbishment has seen Burtonwood shrunk down into something more manageable and more pleasant.


Catering: KFC, Starbucks, Costa Express, Yorkshire Tea Shops: WHSmith Main Amenities: Ecotricity electric vehicle charging point, Showers, Welcome Break Gaming Motel: none Forecourt: Shell, Select, Deli2go, Costa Express

Parking Prices

First two hours free for all vehicles, after which HGVs, caravans and coaches must pay £21, or £23 to include a £9 meal voucher.

Prices can be paid in the shop, with instructions in each car park. They are strictly enforced by ParkingEye.

Trivia and Design

The abandoned westbound services

The buildings are said to be haunted as they are built on the site of a disused airfield where an aircraft crashed in the 1950s. Related or not, something would go on to haunt the success of the services.

The former UK Prime Minister David Cameron visited Burtonwood in July 2014.

A Starbucks Drive Thru is planned to be built at the back of the car park.


The services originally consisted of two small, octagonal pagoda-style buildings which were visible from the motorway. The design was supposed to make the most of the simple landscape at this large and exposed location, allowing the buildings to be clearly visible from the road. The roof would have been red, as an early way to advertise the services' branding, but planning permission was refused and instead it was copper, soon colouring to its distinctive green.

Forte should not have been allowed the contract to build Burtonwood as they already owned Charnock Richard. However, due to the low traffic levels forecast, an exception was made to this rule.

When it first opened, the westbound side would close during winter, with pedestrians being sent through a subway under the road.

The motel was built in 1987.

Partial Closure

Burtonwood has slowly become a rather neglected service area. From day one its trade was described as "disappointing". It suffered a decline in operation standards like any service station, but the disappointing custom meant refurbishment didn't follow. It was further hurt when the missing J8 was utilised to serve the upcoming Omega development and Gemini Retail Park.

In 2008 the westbound services were boarded up and abandoned. Westbound traffic can access the eastbound services via the J8 roundabout (entrance) and the old emergency access road (exit back to J8). This was first suggested by Welcome Break in 2000 when the Highways Agency built the new J8, but it didn't happen until about 2008. Halving the site meant that some of the facilities had to be lost, including (unusually for a Welcome Break at the time), the lack of a Burger King and a Coffee Primo.

The old westbound side was demolished in 2009 by Marshall and proposed for development including Travelodge, Starbucks and a Harvester pub/restaurant, but the majority of the former compound is still unused, awaiting offices. Clues as to the original use can still be seen in the original road layout, albeit with the original motorway connection cut off.

The eastbound site was then thoroughly refurbished and it has joined up as a coach interchange.

Survey Results

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

In 2015, Visit England rated the services as 3 stars.

In May 2012 and August 2011, Visit England rated the services as 2 stars, making it one of the worst-performing.

In 2008 the services won a five star loo award.

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

In 1977, Egon Ronay rated the services as "acceptable". He said it was "pleasantly decorated", "comfortable" and "clean".


noneServices on the M62 Birch (20 miles)
Lymm (M6 south, 10 miles)
Knutsford (M6 south, 15 miles)
Charnock Richard (M6 north, 20 miles)
noneWelcome Break services Hartshead Moor (44 miles)
Charnock Richard (M6 north, 20 miles)

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