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Hilton Park

Hilton Park
Moto
Hilton Park
Road:M6 between J10a and J11
Address:Moto
Hilton Park Motorway Services Area
M6
Essington
Wolverhampton
Staffordshire
WV11 2AT
Telephone number:01922 412237
Signposted from the road?Yes
Opened:1970 (built by 1967)
Previous operators:Rank, Pavilion, Granada
Previous names:Birmingham North
Grid reference:SJ962050
Services type:Two sites located between junctions, connected by an internal bridge.
Visit Hilton Park Northbound/Moto's official website
Visit Hilton Park Southbound/Moto's official website
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Squashed in on the M6 between J10a and J11, Hilton Park is a large and very busy service area not far from Birmingham.

Contents

Facilities

Main Amenities: Picnic Tables, Children's Play Area, Full Hou$e (northbound only), Lucky Coin, Showers, Multi Faith Room
Restaurants: Eat & Drink Co., Burger King, Costa, Greggs, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme
Shops: WHSmith, Ladbrokes, M&S Simply Food, Fone Bitz (northbound only), Cotton Traders
Motel: Travelodge[book rooms]
Forecourt: BP, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme, Air1 AdBlue

Parking Prices

First two hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £12 and HGVs £20.50, or £22 to include a £9 food voucher.

Prices are paid using PayByPhone - more details. The location code is 2443 (northbound) and 2444 (southbound).

The fees are strictly enforced by CP Plus.

Trivia

Location

A typical Granada shopping extension in the foreground, with the main services in the background.

Hilton Park has a lot to answer for. Its location is the main reason why J10a only faces south, and it has also meant that a whole new dual carriageway has had to be proposed to link the M54 to the M6 Toll. For a while it was to be closed so that junction improvements could take place either side, in a similar fashion to Leicester Forest East.

This isn't going to help southbound traffic, where the next services are 30 miles away for traffic for the south-east and 50 miles for traffic for the south central. This would have been solved by Perry Barr services, which were never completed. When you consider this and just how busy this bit of the M6 is (it's the second busiest single stretch of motorway in the UK), it's no surprise that in 1998 Hilton Park was noted for being the busiest service station in the UK. However, since then the M6 Toll has taken a small amount of that traffic away so it's not known where it still lays claim to this title.

Its location has also meant that the M54 needed its own service station - Telford.

History

Around the time it became the busiest, Hilton Park was extended to become the first "mini-shopping centre". The extension made it the first site to gain a Cyber Café and the last to get a Trucker's Lounge. Neither of these facilities are still available.

The name Hilton Park derives from the name of the stately home which the services are built on, which itself is named after the nearby village of Hilton. It was ready to open by 1967 but delays the construction of the motorway meant that it wasn't actually needed until 1970, by which time it was significantly out-of-date.

In the late-'90s, there were plans for a second storey to be added to the car park, creating a second storey entrance too.

For a while Hilton Park was known as Birmingham North before changing back. They changed back apparently because Wolverhampton Council weren't happy with something within their area being named after Birmingham.

The Restaurant

The northbound tower

Each side of Hilton Park has a distinctive tower. Its opening was delayed by problems with the sewage system, and when it finally did open the operators were unhappy that the motorway kept being closed for roadworks to extend it. At first both towers held a restaurant with a panoramic view enhanced by the tiered design of the system, but these have since been closed due to falling patronage and rising maintenance costs, mainly attributed to fire regulations. It now houses offices. If this story sounds familiar, it's because Rank did it again on a much larger scale at Forton. The staircase for the northbound tower is still used to access the bridge, but you cannot reach the top. On the southbound side the toilets are on the second level beneath the tower, with a second staircase being used.

Recent Developments

An M&S store opened here on the 15 February 2007 and a WHSmith store has also opened here, replacing the Retail Store, T2 and Birthdays. The bridge between the two sites used to be unsafe to walk across due to high levels of asbestos. They thought it might need to be completely rebuilt, which would require closing the M6 below and the Highways Agency wouldn't give Moto permission to do this. They did mark Hilton Park as an "approved truckstop", but this is no longer the case.

There was a Harry Ramsden's waitress restaurant here, and later a trial of a KFC, Moto's only effort with the brand.

Survey Results

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

In 2006, Holiday Which? magazine rated the services at 2/5.

In 2005 and again in 2006, Hilton Park won a five star loo award.

Alternatives

Previous:Next:
Corley (30 miles)
Frankley (M5, 22 miles)
Warwick (M40, 50 miles)
Services on the M6 Stafford (North) (M6 northbound, 18 miles)
Stafford (South) (M6 southbound, 17 miles)
Knutsford (52 miles)
Frankley (M5, 22 miles)Moto services Stafford (North) (M6 northbound, 18 miles)
Knutsford (52 miles)

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