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Charnock Richard services

Charnock Richard
Welcome Break
Facilities | Rating | ReviewsCharnock Richard
Road:M6 between J27 and J28

Address:Motorway Break
Charnock Richard Motorway Services Area
Park Hall Road
Charnock Richard
Telephone number:01257 791494
Signposted from the road?Yes
Previous operators:Motorway Services Ltd, Trusthouse Forte
Grid reference:SD544152
Services type:Single site built upon the motorway.
Visit Charnock Richard/Welcome Break's official website
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A very old service area offering all the basic facilities. The fast food is on the bridge.


Catering: Burger King, KFC, Starbucks, Subway, Costa Express
southbound only: Krispy Kreme
Shops: Waitrose, WHSmith Main Amenities: Conference Room, Ecotricity Electric Vehicle Charging Point, Showers, Welcome Break Gaming Motel: Days Innbook Forecourt: Shell, Costa Express
northbound only: Shell Shop
southbound only: Select, Deli2Go, Yorkshire Tea, Krispy Kreme, Autogas LPG

Parking Prices

First two hours free for all vehicles, after which HGVs, caravans and coaches must pay £19, or £21 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.


On the first Wednesday of every month people from the police, Highways Agency and VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) meet with lorry drivers at the northbound services to talk about any concerns they may have.

The Starbucks and Subway here are provided in lower-level extensions, beneath the bridge staircase.


A model of one of the independent's designs for the services.

Before the M6 was built, seven companies bid to run Charnock Richard services. Five of these were local Lancashire firms, one was Kenning Motor Group, and the final was Forte. These tenders were declined mainly on financial grounds. Forte's winning design was inspired by American chain Howard-Johnson.

Kenning's plan was noted for including an escalator, which was considered novel at the time. Another alternative plan would have seen the bridge having two decks: one with a restaurant, and one for crossing.

Shortly before winning the contract for the services, Fortes also won Keele. They won Charnock Richard on the condition they could not win the M6's only other planned services at the time, at Knutsford. A clause was later added to say consecutive services can't be owned by the same company.

Most of the bids took the same design of being built around a bridge with a restaurant on it. This design was favoured by the Ministry of Transport at the time, because of the efficiency and impressiveness of the structure. Fortes' bridge restaurant, called Grill and Griddle, could hold nearly 300 customers. In 2006, that bridge had to be restructured because it was close to falling on to the motorway.

The bridge-restaurant had muted lighting and tables set into individual glass-sided booths while the café was a bright and light room.

In 1976, it was the most complained about service station, mainly because of its high food prices.

Survey Results

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

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

In 2008 the southbound services won a five star loo award.

In 2007, Charnock Richard won a four star loo award.

In 2006, Holiday Which? gave the services a 2 out of 5.

In 2005 and again in 2006 they won a five star loo award.

In 1977, Egon Ronay rated the services as "poor". He said its standards "were not wholly low, but no high point was achieved", while the standard Forte menu relied heavily on convenience food. One particular meal - fish which may have been haddock - was "not fit for human consumption".


Lymm (23 miles)
Burtonwood (M62 west, 20 miles)
Services on the M6 Lancaster (25 miles)
Blackburn with Darwen (M65, 15 miles)
Tickled Trout (10 miles)
Keele (54 miles)
Burtonwood (M62 west, 20 miles)
Welcome Break services none nearby

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