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Knutsford services

Knutsford
Moto
Facilities | Rating | ReviewsKnutsford
Road:M6 between J18 and J19

MAP AND DIRECTIONS
Address:Granada Services
Knutsford Motorway Service Area
Northwich Road
Knutsford
Cheshire
WA16 0TL
Telephone number:01565 634167
Signposted from the road?Yes
Opened:1963
Previous operators:Rank, Pavilion, Granada
Grid reference:SJ733783
Services type:Single site built upon the motorway.
Visit Knutsford Northbound/Moto's official website
Visit Knutsford Southbound/Moto's official website
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Knutsford is an old service area with the restaurant on the bridge. The services are very close to J19, and the northbound onslip is very short.

There is very little space for lorries in the services (hence a half-hearted ban on them), so instead lorries are directed to Moto's nearby Lymm Truckstop.

Facilities

Restaurants: Burger King, Costa, Eat & Drink Co., Costa Express, Krispy Kreme, Greggs, West Cornwall Pasty Co. Shops: M&S Simply Food, WHSmith Main Amenities: Ecotricity Electric Vehicle Charging Point, Lucky Coin, Showers Motel: Travelodgebook Forecourt: BP (with: LPG), Shop, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme, Air1 AdBlue
southbound only: Costa

Parking Prices

First two hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £16 and HGVs £26, or £27.50 to include a £9 food voucher.

Prices are paid using PayByPhone - more details. The location code is 2446 (northbound) and 2447 (southbound).

The fees are strictly enforced by CP Plus.

Trivia and History

M&S on the bridge, where there would have once been a waitress restaurant

The stand-up comedy show 'Rhod Gilbert and the Award-Winning Mince Pie' is based entirely on his experience here, although he talks about service stations in general.

On the 9 December 2004 an M&S Simply Food opened here - Moto's fourth at the time.

Motorway Services Ltd, who won the contract for the adjacent services at Keele and Charnock Richard, also bid for Knutsford. Their bid was very good and they very nearly got it, but a rule was introduced banning operators from owning consecutive services. In the 1960s, the agreed rent to run these services, assuming maximum custom, was the highest of them all. In 1966 Rank admitted that they regretted this ambitious bid, as the services were struggling to break even.

The bridge-café had bright orange and yellow furnishings, while the restaurant had an open-kitchen and plastic seats.

Design

The layout within the services is very odd. The Travelodge reception is actually inside the main amenities building, at the back. Whilst the gents toilets are at the back, the ladies and disabled are at the far back (there appears to be another toilet block next to the gents which is fenced off). Originally the entire service station was built on the bridge, with just steps on each side, now there are restaurants and M&S up there, both against the wall, with a traditional corridor running along the south end of the bridge.

Several applications for a Travelodge on both sides of the services were previously rejected as the land is green belt and at the time of the first application (1994) there were few other lodges at service areas and the Highways Agency believed they might be misused. The area by the north-east side of the service area has been left clear to allow for an expansion.

Although there is now an M&S on the bridge, the majority of it is again dedicated to catering, including (unusually for Moto), the Greggs.

Parking Issues

A shortage of space and increase in HGV-crimes led to Moto asking all lorries to head to their larger, securer site at Lymm. However, if you drive past all the 'no lorries' signs, you'll find that there are spaces for lorries available, albeit signposted 'emergency parking only'. This doesn't seem to deter lorries.

The Highways Agency recently listed it as an approved truckstop, despite it only having 27 HGV spaces.

There are problems with HGVs parking illegally on the services sliproad, unable to drive to the next stop.

For a short while the parking prices came with an unusual (and expensive) tier system with five different lengths of stay available (24 hours cost £35). This has now been replaced by the standard '2 or 24 hours' system.

Replacements

One plan to upgrade the A556 (which at the time sounded quite likely) would have seen Knutsford services knocked down. Even now the northbound onslip is known for being too short and too close to the A556.

In 1994 there were plans to build two sliproads around the services, from the M6 to the south of here to an upgraded Northwich Road. Pavilion wanted to use it as an opportunity to re-landscape a lot of the services, and to build a large lorry park.

During the 1990s, there were also plans to widen the M6, which would have seen the services knocked down had the full plans ever gone ahead.

One alternative site was proposed at Cann Lake.

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 2006, Holiday Which? rated the services at 3/5.

Also in 2006 the services won a four star loo award. In 2005 it was five stars.

A 1978 government review described the services as "appalling and rather tatty".

Egon Ronay's opinion of the services was somewhat split. In 1974 he was quite positive about it, and in 1977 he rated the restaurant as "acceptable". However, in 1977 the café was rated as "appalling". He called the café "a loud, garish place" and called the atmosphere "that of a lower-class transport café". The food, "arranged with no idea of presentation" included a mixed grill which was "scandalous". The restaurant on the other hand was "quite enterprising". He was also critical of the noisy jukebox and the smelly toilets.

Alternatives

Previous:Next:
Sandbach (12 miles)Services on the M6 Lymm (6 miles)
Stafford (North) (M6 northbound, 23 miles)
Hilton Park (53 miles)
Moto services Lymm (6 miles)

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