|Facilities | Rating | Reviews|
|Road:||M5 at J30|
(also accessible to traffic on the A376 and the A379)
MAP AND DIRECTIONS
|Address:||Moto Hospitality Ltd|
Exeter Motorway Services Area
|Telephone number:||01392 436266|
|Signposted from the road?||Yes|
|Services type:||Single site located at a junction.|
|Visit Exeter/Moto's official website|
The last services on the M5 (located just before the road splits into two routes across Devon), Exeter sits in an industrial estate and is connected to the local cycle network. It is an important part of the 'staycation' experience - mainly because whenever the holiday season comes around, this place turns manically busy!
Restaurants: Bar and Grill, Burger King, Costa, Eat & Drink Co., Greggs, Kelly's of Cornwall Ice Cream Parlour, West Cornwall Pasty Co., Costa Express, Krispy Kreme Shops: Ladbrokes, M&S Simply Food, WHSmith Main Amenities: Ecotricity Electric Vehicle Charging Point, Full Hou$e, Lucky Coin, Picnic Tables, Showers Motel: Travelodge Forecourt: BP, Shop, Costa, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme, Air1 AdBlue, Car Wash
First two hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £12.50 and HGVs £22, or £23.50 to include a £9 food voucher.
Prices are paid using PayByPhone - more details. The location code is 2436.
The fees are strictly enforced by CP Plus.
Trivia and History
Firstly, Exeter is the most southern motorway service station in the UK. Simply put, the services are very short on space. The amenity building and car park both have a huge increase in custom during the summer holidays. There is still a grass bank which can be used for walking dogs. There is a particularly high demand for advertisements here, usually showcasing various Devon attractions.
The services were referred to as Sandy Gate in planning, but opened as Exeter. Only one bid to run the services was received, and after some negotiation, Granada won the contract. The services officially opened in 1978, but in 1977 a temporary takeaway building opened. In 1993 there were plans for a separate truck driver's wash room which fell through.
When opened the two roundabouts outside the services would have been significantly quieter than they were today, however it was always the intention to surround the services with an industrial estate. The stipulation for the services required a lorry park and transport café be built, but with a warning that a rival lorry park may be opening up opposite.
Until 1997 the toilets were accessed directly from the car park, alongside a shop, restaurant, and new Burger King. A roof was then provided over all these doors to direct people towards the shops. This entry layout remains to this day. The building being to the north of the site, and the picnic area on the top of the hill, were the Department for Transport's suggestion. The site is 19.5 acres in size.
Exeter was the only one with ever to have a Harry Ramsden's waitress service, which was built into the hotel. The restaurant stayed here many years after all the other motorway sites had closed.
In March 2006 the services gained a M&S store, which was opened by Exeter FC manager Alex Inglethorpe.
It has a large food court area which is now home to three Costas - at one point it only offered a restaurant with no coffee options. EDC was further scaled back in March 2014 when an internal Greggs store opened. There is also a separate, unrelated Greggs branch in the industrial estate opposite.
In 2000 there were plans for Granada 2Go to be fitted to the front of the services. Granada wanted to use the parcel of land near the entrance to set up a separate shop and car park. There were later plans to extend the lobby area, putting a Costa stand within it.
There was once a tourist information office here in a separate building, which closed and in 1999 became Ladbrokes. Around the same time there was an ice cream kiosk operating in the car park, but it was ordered to move, replacing a picnic box. The haphazard array of extensions and facilities was noted at the time.
The services have a history of fours: in May 2012 and August 2011 Visit England rated the services as 4 stars and liked its environmental credentials.
In 2006 the services were graded 4/5 by Holiday Which?.
Also in 2006, the services won a four star loo award. In 2005 it was five stars.
|Cullompton (12 miles)||Services on the M5||
none on M5|
Kennford (A38 northbound, 8 miles)
Whiddon Down (A30, 20 miles)
|Tiverton (16 miles)|
Bridgwater (38 miles)
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