|Facilities | Rating | Reviews|
|Road:||M61 between J6 and J8 (there is no J7)|
MAP AND DIRECTIONS
Anderton Motorway Services Area
|Telephone number:||01204 669962 (northbound)|
01204 460482 (southbound)
|Signposted from the road?||Yes|
|Opened:||1971 (rebuilt in 2011)|
|Previous operators:||Kenning Motor Group, Rank, Pavilion, First|
|Previous names:||Anderton, Bolton West|
|Services type:||Two sites located between junctions, connected by a pedestrian footbridge.|
|Visit Euro Garages's official website|
A range of facilities sitting on the site of Bolton West, formerly one of the worst-ranked services around.
Catering: Burger King, Mother Hubbard's, Starbucks, Subway, Starbucks on the Go Shops: Spar Main Amenities: Dog Walking Area, Ecotricity electric vehicle charging point, Free cash machine, Games Arcade, Multi Faith Room, Picnic Area Motel: Rivington Lodge Forecourt: BP (with: LPG), AdBlue Containers
First two hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £8 and HGVs £14.99, or £19.99 to include a food voucher.
Prices are paid in the Spar shop.
The fees are strictly enforced.
Trivia and History
The contract to build the service was won by BP, who until recently leased the main facilities out to First. Euro Garages (who specialise in taking over unpopular petrol stations) took over the petrol station and then took over the whole site. The services were then completely rebuilt and reverted to its previous name, with the new southbound side opening on 27 May 2011.
The Subway outlet here is Halal and is open 24 hours.
Unusually, the services have two bridge crossings - one footbridge and one driving bridge, neither of which serve as a Rear Access (except as a public footpath).
The services went out to tender in 1967, requesting at least £200,000 be invested, and it was opened in phases. Planners were expected to take advantage of the views over Rivington and Winter Hill - it is an open and exposed site allowing for a large complex. It had a single-storey low-level design, to minimise the impact on the valley it is built in.
Inside, the large building began with a foyer area with tables, and a game arcade added on the right. There was a shop on the left and, on the northbound side, a corridor to the Travelodge reception. Straight ahead was the restaurant servery and a corridor to the toilets was on the right. The rest of the building contained the kitchen.
The original restaurant had large windows and an orange and brown décor. It was open 07:00 until 22:00.
As Bolton West
The old services were, quite simply, appalling. By the end of its life there was little care for any aspect of it, and its rating on this site was an average of 1.1 out of 5.
Granada wanted to take over Pavilion were told they couldn't own Bolton West and nearby Birch. A Granada management buyout saw Bolton West pass to First. With its large building and low traffic levels, it wasn't a great site to inherit.
On the 23rd July 2010 there was a fire at the garage on the southbound services which meant there was no fuel available for a period, and further facilities had to be provided by portacabins.
As Bolton West its main claim to fame is that it starred in Peter Kay's pilot episode for his sketch show 'That Peter Kay Thing' in the early 2000s. The show was a 22-minute mockumentary titled 'At the Services' which took a look at a typical day at Bolton West, including manager Pearl Harbour's quest to impress a celebrity. It's thought that they filmed here because they were the only services to let him, but it seems to be quite a coincidence that most of Peter Kay's films are made in or around the Bolton area. This was revisited in 2016.
Use with care. Outdated surveys have been included for interest only.
In May 2012, the new services were given 3 stars by Visit England.
In 2000 the services were rated by the AA, who graded them as 'very poor', criticising poor signposting, a lack of outdoor facilities and unclean toilets. Woolley Edge fared even worse.
In 1986, Which? magazine rated the services as "average", saying they felt they had walked "into a time warp".
In 1977, Egon Ronay rated the services as "poor". It was "cheerful and bright", and "the atmosphere was pleasant even if the food was not". He wasn't impressed by the use of convenience foods.
|none on M61|
Birch (M62 east, 13 miles)
|Services on the M61||none on M61|
Lancaster (M6 north, 27 miles)
Blackburn with Darwen (M65, 15 miles)
Tickled Trout (M6 north, 13 miles)
Views expressed in these comments are those of the individual contributor. They are moderated by Facebook.