Hensall services would have been on the M62 between J34 and J35. Operators were invited to bid to build the services in 1973 and again in 1975, but low traffic levels meant nobody was interested. It was hoped that it would be open by 1977.
At this site the Ministry wanted to see a large westbound side, with a temporary block of toilets and a kiosk on the eastbound side - if the successful tenderer didn't see fit to build all the facilities at once, on the condition that space was left for an eastbound facility to open in the following 10 years. They would have provided a small footbridge, which they would have expected the operator to build a roof over if the facilities were going to be on one side. This was the Road Construction Units' suggestion, others wanted the eastbound side to open first.
As the site is low-lying and visible from neighbouring properties, only single-storey proposals would have been allowed, and there was a ban on building services above the road. Dense tree planting was requested, and some parts of the site were reserved for landscaping. The layout would have been dictated by neighbouring properties, which would have needed to be kept away from the noise if they didn't want to sell up.
As a sign of changing times, it was suggested a separate takeaway unit be built in a picnic area (this was removed before the second tender), and it asked operators to be mindful of the need to rearrange the facilities as demands change - a big problem with older services. It was also stressed that automated catering alone would not be sufficient. Hotels were specifically forbidden.
The Ministry expected at least £700,000 to be invested in the proposal, which covered a 40 acre site. At least 200 car parking spaces, 75 spaces for lorries and 12 for coaches were required on each side, as well as 110 toilets.
This would have been one of three services to trial only offering two brands of fuel. An exception to the usual rule where operators can't own two adjacent services was granted to try to get Ross and Granada interested in the plans, but to no avail. Access would have been provided to Broach Road and Moor Lee Lane.
With extremely low traffic levels (predicted to be half of what Burtonwood was receiving), a long list of regulations and complaints from neighbours, Hensall is pretty much the epitome of why operators lost interest in building motorway services during the 1970s.
Today two long unused onslips can be seen, while the two offslips have been removed. Both sites have farms on them.