Motorway Services Online

Strensham services

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Road:M5 between J7 and J8
Address:Roadchef Motorways Ltd
Strensham M5 Service Area
Hill Croome
Telephone number:01684 293004 (northbound) 01984 290577 (southbound)
Signposted from the road?As McDonald's/Costa
Opened:1962 (original)
1994 (new northbound)
2005 (new southbound)
Previous operators:Kenning Motor Group, Take-a-Break
Grid reference:SO893407 (northbound)
SO903399 (southbound)
Services type:Two sites staggered between junctions, with no public connection between them.
Visit Strensham/Roadchef's official website
Twitter: @Strensham

Strensham is a popular and modern service station, especially the southbound side.



Main Amenities: Game On, Jackpot £500, Regus Express, Showers, UK TruckClean Truck Wash
Restaurants: McDonald's, Costa, Fresh Food Café, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme, Chozen Noodle
Shops: WHSmith, Spar, 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, Leaf Gifts (within WHSmith)
Motel: northbound Days Inn[book rooms] motel accessible via bridge
Forecourt: BP (with:), Wild Bean Café, AdBlue Containers

Parking Prices

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.

The northbound side is being used to trial Spar. The store opened on 4 July 2015 and will be trialled alongside one other site at Northampton.

A Fresh Food Cafe opened here on the northbound side on 10 October 2015. It replaced the former Soho Coffee Co outlet.

Early Failings

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.

Northbound Relocation

Looking south at the original two-sided services.

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.

Southbound Reconstruction

The new collection of southbound brands.

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.

Brands such as McDonalds and WHSmith were first trialled here by Roadchef and were successful therefore resulting in them being rolled across the Roadchef network.

Popular Culture

The services in the floods
During the floods of July 2007 the M5 here was completely unusable, and just about every building in the services was used as a depot for stranded motorists. The manager at the time, Quintin Speers, was hailed a hero for working almost non-stop over several days to make sure that people stuck both in the water and the resulting queues were well-informed and safe.

The services were the subject of a fly-on-the-wall documentary called 'Motorway Madness', which aired in October 2010 on Five.

Survey Results

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)

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