Motorway Services Online

Ross Spur services

Ross Spur
Euro Garages
Ross Spur
Road:M50 at J4
(also accessible to traffic on the A40 and the A449)
(Google Maps link)
Address:Ross Spur Services Forecourt
Ledbury Road
Ross-on-Wye
Herefordshire
HR9 7QJ
Signposted from the road?No (previously: Yes)
Opened:1960s
Previous operators:Welcome Break
Grid reference:SO609256
Services type:Southbound site located on a dual carriageway at the end of the motorway
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A small service area on the A449 (at the end of the M50), on the southbound side of the road. After years of being a shadow of its former self, it went though a major refurbishment with a new forecourt, shop and two drive-thru restaurants.

Facilities

Catering: Starbucks Drive Thru Main Amenities: Picnic Area Forecourt: BP, Spar, Starbucks on the Go, Greggs, Subway

Parking Prices

First two hours free for all vehicles, after which HGVs must pay £15.

Prices can be paid in the Spar shop within the filling station, with instructions in each car park.

Trivia and History

Site is not to be confused with the Premier Inn and Beefeater (Travellers Rest) accessed from the roundabout with the A449 at the end of the M50.

Original Plans

The M50 is named the Ross Spur Motorway, and documentation from the road's construction refers to "the Ross Spur service area". Unfortunately, it's not clear if that's referring to this place, or another one that was planned on the Ross Spur Motorway.

There was a lot of debate about whether the road needed services. Initially it was said to be too short for any services. In 1958 Ministers decided the motorway would offer good views and should have viewpoints or rest areas. This was later turned into a full service area (location not known) but was cancelled due to objections relating to environmental damage, then the services were planned again, then it was decided the road didn't need any services.

No maintenance compound would have been allowed as the area was too scenic. A maintenance compound was developed separately at Bury Court.

Welcome Break legacy

One of the former Welcome Break buildings

The services were owned by Welcome Break until 2001, where it was sold off and quickly became derelict (curiously this was around the same time as they took an interest in Derby South). Ten years later, Welcome Break's road signs (and even parking prices) could be found all over the southbound services. The northbound side was later occupied by KFC who removed most of the branding, save for a few treats for eagle-eyed travellers. Externally, both the north and south sites were virtually unchanged since Welcome Break left them, and they were hardly cutting-edge in those days either. For most of the 2000s, it was a Welcome Break time-lock.

Northbound Developments

After a muddled history with KFC occupying the former Red Hen building, Labels Outlet Shoppingwebsite opened in an adjacent field in 2010 using the car park in the northbound service area as an alternative entrance. Although this is on a separate site, it pretty much confirms that this side no longer functions as a service area. It is set to gain warehouses and offices too.

Euro Garages and the southbound side

It is the southbound side that had become almost completely derelict, aside from the petrol station which was itself very run-down, using an old style BP hoped to have phased out by now.

Euro Garages took over the southbound services and completely rebuilt the site. There were rumours that a Burger King outlet was due to open here but these turned out to false and a Greggs opened here instead alongside a Subway outlet and Starbucks Drive Thru. The Greggs and Subway are situated within the forecourt building whilst the Starbucks Drive Thru sits in its own building with its own car park.

Alternatives

Previous:Next:
Strensham (M5 north, 22 miles)
Oldbury (M5 south, 46 miles)
Services on the M50 end of road
none nearbyServices on the A40 Symonds Yat (8 miles)