|Road:||M6 between J16 and J17|
|Address:||RoadChef Motorways Ltd|
Sandbach Motorway Services Area
|Telephone number:||01270 767134|
|Signposted from the road?||Yes|
|Services type:||Two sites located between junctions, connected by a pedestrian footbridge.|
|Visit Sandbach/Roadchef's official website|
A number of surveys would lead you to believe that Sandbach is the worst service area the world has ever seen. The truth is that Sandbach has fought back, and today it's almost acceptable. Almost.
General: BT Openzone, Game On, Jackpot £500, Traffic Information
Restaurants: McDonald's, Costa, Hot Food Co. (southbound only)
Shops: WHSmith (with Costa Express Krispy Kreme)
Fuel: Esso (with: Costa Express AdBlue Containers LPG)
First two hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £10 and HGVs, caravans and coaches £22, or £26 to include a £10 food voucher.
Prices are paid using PayByPhone - more details or in the shop or restaurant. The location code is 5265 (northbound) and 5266 (southbound).
The fees are strictly enforced by CP Plus.
The services were one of few infill sites (where the sliproads were laid out before anyone had come forward to build the rest of it) which actually went ahead as planned, although early suggestions were for a truckstop only. They were the first services to be built entirely by Roadchef, with Killington Lake being owned by BP. It also seems that in the late 90's, RoadChef had a plan to introduce a Wimpy drive-thru here but this never really happened.
The bridge - which may well pre-date the services - had its distinctive covering added in 1978.
The southbound side also houses a works unit.
Sandbach services was also included in the Safety Event Roadshow headed by local Mobile Tyre Fitting company Tyres on the Drive, who are based in nearby Holmes Chapel.
In May 2012, Visit England gave the southbound services 3 stars, but the northbound side had fallen down to 2 stars.
In August 2011, Visit England rated the services as 3 stars.
In late 2006 the BBC's 'The Money Programme' took a look at the services. Whilst the northbound side was almost acceptable, southbound was dirty and the toilets had several broken locks.
In 2006, Holiday Which? graded the services at 2/5. This isn't bad, considering that there were a handful of 1/5s awarded.
The services were inspected by the AA on the 3rd and 4th of April 2004. These are their results:
|Road safety and parking:||Good|
|Outdoor facilities:||Very Poor|
|Access and indoor facilities:||Poor|
|Final Score:||Very Poor|
Here the services were chosen as the worst in Europe, with the inspectors saying "You could stop for petrol and perhaps buy some provisions, but we wouldn't recommend taking a break there". The shops and staff were the only good things found: it had poor facilities, litter "everywhere", a dirty restaurant with a poor variety of unappetising food, high prices, dirty showers, the building and its facilities looked poorly maintained, it had no information and it had very little to help the disabled. Even the car park was poorly marked and poorly maintained.
|Keele (11 miles)|
Crewe (5 miles)
Derby and Burton (A50 east, 43 miles)
|Services on the M6||Knutsford (12 miles)|
|Stafford (South) (M6 southbound, 23 miles)|
Norton Canes (41 miles)
|Roadchef services||Chester (M56 west, 32 miles)|