|Road:||M48 at J1|
(also accessible to traffic on the A403 and the B4461 and not far from the M4)
M48 Service Area
Aust Motorway Services Area
|Telephone number:||01454 632851|
|Signposted from the road?||As Costa/Burger King|
|Previous operators:||Top Rank, Pavilion, Granada|
|Services type:||Single site located at a junction.|
|Visit Severn View/Moto's official website|
Possibly the windiest service area known to man, Severn View is a historic and now slightly neglected site alongside the original Severn Bridge. Despite its name, it is not actually immediately adjacent to the bridge, the river or the motorway junction, though it is connected to all three by public footpaths.
General: Picnic Tables, Moto Free WiFi, Gscape, Showers
Restaurants: Burger King, Costa
Shops: WHSmith (with Costa Express Krispy Kreme)
Fuel: BP (with: Costa Express Air1 AdBlue Ecotricity electric vehicle charging point)
Motel: Travelodge[book rooms]
First two hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £11 and HGVs £16, or £17.50 to include a £9 food voucher.
Prices are paid using PayByPhone - more details. The location code is 2460.
The fees are strictly enforced by CP Plus.
The services have changed a lot since they opened, when it was known as 'Aust'. Back then they could be found off M4 J21, and in 1978 a government report said it was one of the largest service stations, with seating for almost 1000 people. As with all Top Rank services, the building was a large box-shape which was noticeable as you approached it on the motorway. The design, which had to be sensitive to local environmental concerns, makes the building look like it only has one storey whereas in reality it had three. As well as offering a large grass area, the building backed on to the River Severn (hence its modern name Severn View). Everybody loved it.
With the large parking areas making a long distance between the services and the lorry park, a Trucker's Café was added to the lorry park.
Magor services were built prior to the Second Severn Crossing, which meant there was no need for any new services when the new bridge opened.
These were the first services that were built as a single site on a junction. Originally the idea hadn't been considered as the online arrangement used everywhere else worked fine, but something different was needed here so as to get the benefits of the view without compromising the engineering of the motorway too much. Consequently, the original services were much further from the junction than at other similar designs.
For all its flaws, the services are still probably the best place to park for accessing the Severn Bridge, but remember the two-hour free parking limit.
Closure and Change of Building
When Granada took over Pavilion in 1995, they were allowed to do so on the basis that Aust would be sold or closed when the new Severn Bridge opened the next year. However, when the bridge opened Granada didn't sell the services, and even issued leaflets telling motorists it's the "same services, different road".
This didn't attract much custom, but it must have been enough to stop Granada from closing or selling the services. Instead, they repeatedly applied for permission to move or redevelop parts of the services, which included plans to replace the building with housing, storage facilities, car dealers and a motorway maintenance compound. In around 1999 they moved the main services to an extended Trucker's Café and then set about selling the surplus building, eventually convincing the Highways Agency that they weren't necessary. The car park was then moved to the former HGV parking area, HGVs moved to a former parking area and the overflow car park closed.
In 2000/2001 Motion Media bought the former services and car park and moved in. They then sold it to the Brightside Group. Both the car park and the building (now painted in a green not too dissimilar to what Pavilion would have used) are very similar to how they'd have been in the days of Aust. Similarly, keen enthusiasts will notice a strange appearance of the remaining service area as most of what's left isn't nearly as busy as it once was.
Although Severn View no longer offers a view of the Severn, it is connected to a series of footpaths and the National Cycle Network. These paths pass through Brightside's property and run along the estuary, over the toll booths and along the bridge.
In May 2012 and August 2011, Visit England rated the services as 2 stars.
In 2006 the services won a four star loo award.
Also in 2006, Holiday Which? rated the services as a 2/5.
|none on M48|
Leigh Delamere (M4 east, 23 miles)
Michaelwood (M5 north, 13 miles)
Gordano (M5 south, 13 miles)
|Services on the M48||
none on M48|
Magor (M4 west, 11 miles)
|Leigh Delamere (M4 east, 23 miles)||Moto services||Swansea (M4 west, 69 miles)|