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Clacket Lane

Clacket Lane
Roadchef
Clacket Lane
Road:M25 between J5 and J6
Address:Roadchef Motorways Ltd
Motorway Service Area M25 Westbound
Clacket Lane
Westerham
Surrey
TN16 2ER
Telephone number:01959 565577
Signposted from the road?As McDonald's/Costa
Opened:1993
Previous names:Titsey Woods
Grid reference:TQ423545
Services type:Two sites located between junctions, with no public connection between them.
Visit Clacket Lane/Roadchef's official website
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Clacket Lane consists of two large services on the M25 and they're a popular stopping point for coaches and lorries. It recently became one of few services to have gained McDonald's and Hot Food Co, with many more set to follow.

Contents

Facilities

Westbound

Main Amenities: Children's Play Area, Ecotricity Electric Vehicle Charging Point, Jackpot £500, Regus Express
Restaurants: Hot Food Co., McDonald's, Costa, Chozen Noodle, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme
Shops: WHSmith, Fone Bitz, Cotton Traders
Motel: Days Inn[book rooms]
Forecourt: BP, Wild Bean Café

Eastbound

Main Amenities: Children's Play Area, Ecotricity Electric Vehicle Charging Point, Jackpot £500, UK TruckClean Truck Wash[website]
Restaurants: Fresh Food Café, McDonald's, Costa, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme
Shops: WHSmith, Fone Bitz, Cotton Traders
Motel: none
Forecourt: BP, Wild Bean Café

Parking Prices

First two hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £12 and HGVs, caravans and coaches £22, or £24 (westbound)/£26 (eastbound) to include a £10 food voucher.

Prices are paid using PayByPhone - more details or in the shop or restaurant. The location code is 5258 (westbound) and 5257 (eastbound).

The fees are strictly enforced by CP Plus.

Trivia & Details

Between 1993 and 2008, Clacket Lane westbound was thought to be the largest services in the country. It also describes itself as the "brightest". At one point it also had the most expensive fuel.

They are situated below the North Downs, and until recently for a significant distance either side there were no other services.

For a long time the services have had a problem with lorries parking on the hard shoulder to access the services. There are now bilingual 'no parking' signs on the exit from the services on each side.

The services sit right next to the Kent-Surrey border, causing confusion as the nearest postal town (Westerham) is in Kent, but the services aren't. Therefore, although "Westerham, Surrey" is usually wrong, when talking about the services it's right. The two buildings were therefore designed to form a gateway to Kent/Surrey respectively, and the westbound side, once the first services for traffic coming up the newly-formed M20, a gateway to England, with a traditional design trying to mimic a courtyard.

The services was the first Roadchef site to introduce the 'Engenie Electric Car Charging Points'.

The filling stations here were previously ran by Total. This then changed to Shell in early 2013 which then, in September 2013, changed to BP. BP now operate the filling stations here.

Planning

The original planning application for the services had them down as 'Titsey Woods', but this was changed for no known reason (although it's often claimed that Roadchef feared that no-one would take the name 'Titsey services' seriously), so they went for Clacket Lane instead - which appears to be a last minute-decision to name it after the road which provides the emergency exits. Before the services were built several alternative sites, such as M25 J6 and Harps Wood were looked at as Tandridge Council were opposed to the services. Before the M25 was built, it was presumed there would be a service area at Chevening, but the plans were changed as the M25 was moved.

In each amenity building there is a large cabinet titled 'The History of Titsey Woods', which has several Roman artefacts which were discovered whilst the services were constructed.

As Roadchef expanded the site, the sliproads became incredibly short so they were eventually extended to improve safety, leaving four very clear 'ghost exits' on the carriageway. It also explains why the access roads through the services appear to head for the motorway and then curve away from it.

The westbound services were designed in the knowledge they'd be the first stop for traffic coming from the continent, so they tried to give a strong welcome to England and to Surrey. Eastbound considered itself 'The Gateway to Kent'.

Survey Results

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

Lord Adonis (Secretary of State for Transport) said he was "very impressed" by the services when he made a surprise visit in September 2009, saying it was clean and provided a good meal.

The services were inspected by the AA on the 24th and 25th of March 2007. These are their results:

Category:Rating:
Road safety and parking:Good
Outdoor facilities:Acceptable
Access and indoor facilities:Acceptable
Catering:Acceptable
Shop:Very Good
Family Friendliness:Acceptable
Service:Good
Hygiene:Acceptable
Pricing:Very Poor
Final Score:Acceptable

The services were said to be well supervised with a good range of items in the shop and restaurant. The food wasn't tasty though, it had no picnic benches or indoor play area, it was very expensive and it was described as dirty, with the fold-away baby changing tables being described as "hazardous to health".

The services were also inspected by the AA on the 3rd and 4th of April 2004. These are their results:

Category:Rating:
Road safety and parking:Good
Outdoor facilities:Acceptable
Access and indoor facilities:Good
Catering:Acceptable
Shop:Very Good
Service:Acceptable
Communications:Very Poor
Hygiene:Very Poor
Pricing:Very Poor
Final Score:Poor

In this test, the services were said to be well prepared and tasty. Again, the variety of stock in the shop was brought up, but again the services were described as "extremely dirty". The shop was expensive and the staff were unfriendly, too.

Alternatives

Previous:Next:
Thurrock (18 miles)
Maidstone (M20, 26 miles)
Medway (M2, 30 miles)
Tollgate (A2 eastbound, 21 miles)
Cobham (A2, 23 miles)
Services on the M25 Pease Pottage (M23, 23 miles)
Fleet (M3, 48 miles)
Ripley (A3, 26 miles)
Cobham (M25, 23 miles)
Maidstone (M20, 26 miles)Roadchef services none nearby

Visitor Feedback


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AA survey results from the Automobile Association, you can view the full report and what they were looking for in this this PDF document for the 2007 test, or this one for the 2004 results..

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