|Road:||M5 between J7 and J8|
|Address:||Roadchef Motorways Ltd|
Strensham M5 Service Area
|Telephone number:||01684 293004 (northbound) 01984 290577 (southbound)|
|Signposted from the road?||As McDonald's/Costa|
1994 (new northbound)
2005 (new southbound)
|Previous operators:||Kenning Motor Group, Take-a-Break|
|Grid reference:||SO893407 (northbound)|
|Services type:||Two sites staggered between junctions, with no public connection between them.|
|Visit Strensham/Roadchef's official website|
Strensham is a popular and modern service station, especially the southbound side.
Main Amenities: Game On, Jackpot £500, Regus Express, Showers
Restaurants: Soho Coffee Co. & Grill, McDonald's, Costa, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme, Chozen Noodle
Shops: WHSmith, Fone Bitz, Cotton Traders, Cheekies
Motel: Days Inn[book rooms]
Forecourt: Texaco (with: FloGas LPG), Star Market, Subway, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme
Main Amenities: Game On, Jackpot £500, Picnic Tables, Showers
Restaurants: Soho Coffee Co., Hot Food Co. (seasonal opening), McDonald's, Costa, Pasty Presto (seasonal opening), Costa Express, Krispy Kreme, Chozen Noodle
Shops: WHSmith, Fone Bitz, Cotton Traders
Motel: northbound Days Inn[book rooms] motel accessible via bridge
Forecourt: BP (with:), Wild Bean Café, AdBlue Containers
First two hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £12 and HGVs, caravans and coaches £27, or £29 to include a £10 food voucher.
Prices are paid using PayByPhone - more details or in the shop or restaurant. The location code is 5261 (northbound) and 5262 (southbound).
The fees are strictly enforced by CP Plus.
Trivia and History
The northbound site has an air ambulance base which was built in 1998.
The northbound side was the last motorway service area to lose its Pizza Hut Express outlet in 2014.
A Regus Express meeting room opened here on the northbound side on Monday 15 December replacing the former unbranded meeting room.
A 1975 review described the layout of the services as "disastrous", with "low quality" buildings, a confusing car park and a footpath which sent pedestrians through the forecourt. It urged the services to be redesigned from south, which did eventually happen.
In 1991 the services were thought to be one of the worst in Britain with staff morale at an all-time low. This was quickly turned around.
The two sides of the services are a good mile apart. Originally the services were built just like any other, if a little close to M5 J8. In 1991 the M5 here was widened and J8 improved, bringing it closer to the services. This was used as a chance to move the northbound site further north, and the old northbound site became a works depot, and the southbound site's exit was been changed so that traffic leaving the services is thrown onto J8, rather than trying to merge onto a motorway which is full of traffic trying to leave. There is an extra lane between J8 and the northbound services, giving us a very rare scenario where there is a lane drop into a service area.
When Roadchef grasped hold of the services in the late '90s they bulldozed the southbound site and replaced it with something much more modern. Today this is the operator's busiest and most profitable service area, with Norton Canes coming a close second.
The original plan for the new southbound services included a mini-roundabout at the entrance to the car park, but this was changed as it would involve traffic coming up the sliproad to give way to people leaving the car park, potentially causing queues back on to the motorway.
In 2005 there were plans to build a motel at the northern edge of the southbound services, but these were rejected, partially because the services were already struggling to keep up with demand. Instead, the area was used as an overflow car park.
As of 2010, the southbound services are significantly busier than the northbound ones, attracting approximately 3% more traffic. This probably follows the 2008 refurbishment, which cost cost £1.6million.
The services were the subject of a fly-on-the-wall documentary called 'Motorway Madness', which aired in October 2010 on Five.
Click on the plans to enlarge to maximum resolution. The Historical 2005 Plan is of Strensham Southbound and cannot be enlarged
In May 2012, Visit England rated the northbound services as 4 stars and southbound as 3 stars.
This was reversed in August 2011, where they rated the southbound services as 4 stars (commenting on its choice of seating) and the northbound side as 3 stars (commenting on its ease of use by businesses).
|Frankley (29 miles)|
Hopwood Park (M42, 31 miles)
|Services on the M5||
Gloucester (18 miles)|
Ross Spur (A40, 22 miles)
|Stafford (South) (M6 south, 63 miles)||Roadchef services||
Sedgemoor (South) (M5 south, 69 miles)|
Magor (M4 west, 56 miles)
Symonds Yat (A40 eastbound, 30 miles)
Views expressed in these comments are those of the individual contributor. They are moderated by Facebook.