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Trumps Green

Trumps Green:

Road: M3 between J2 and J3
Location: Virginia Water, Surrey
Date planned: 1960-1973
Grid reference: SU994664
See also: Kempshott

Google Maps link


Photos:

Trumps Green onslip joins mainline.jpg
Motorway plan.
An annotated map suggesting a possible layout for the services.

When the M3 was being designed, a few options were considered for its service areas.

The County Surveyors Of Hampshire's joint report suggested services at Shepperton, Windlesham and Andwell, but was criticised for them not being evenly spaced, so this was changed to services at Trumps Green and Kempshott, with another to be built later in the middle, later settled on as Fleet. Trumps Green is between Shepperton and Windlesham.

In the late 1960s, about 30 new services had been offered to operators, but Trumps Green was considered the most desirable of them all. At the time it was still believed that services close to London would make the most money. Trumps Green would have offered about 16 acres on each side.

It does have an amusing name, but unfortunately this bonus factor was not considered when building services.

Construction

After choosing Trumps Green as one of the final three, the south-westbound side was used as a temporary works depot during the construction of the motorway. A Ghost slip left over from this can still be made out today.

At one point it appears operators were invited to submit their bids for the site, but that the responses weren't analysed. This suggests detailed plans for the services are in existence, but can't be found. Examples of typical service station layouts applied to a map of the location were issued though.

Objections

A public inquiry was strongly against building the services, but it was considered too important to drop and revised layouts were analysed, as the exact site of the north-eastbound services still hadn't been chosen. One option would have had the north-eastbound services further west, by Longcross Studios, where land was being sold at the time.

When Trumps Green was being designed, no services had been built next to existing houses. This formed the basis for the majority of the complaints.

Much of the trouble came from the Knowle Hill and District Residents Action Group, who felt they had been treated unfairly by being consulted on the route of the motorway and then having no say on the services.

While the Ministry were discussing the best way forward for here, it was decided that three service areas would be unnecessary for a newly-opened road used mainly by commuters, especially with plans for connections at the London end still unfinished. As a result, it was agreed Fleet would open first, and the other two would be postponed.

Second Thoughts

While postponed, concerns were raised about how suitable Trumps Green ever would be. Its location was dangerously close to the M25 interchange (not built at the time), difficult to access, and likely to attract protests from the neighbouring farm. Alternatives were looked at, including inside the M25 at the former Shepperton gravel pits, and a favoured site at Windlesham which was ruled out as it wasn't clear whether the land would be needed for the proposed M31 motorway to Reading. Other sites were considered at Chobham Common (popular but difficult to build), Valley End (problems with a local school) and Oakwood.

Unable to agree on a suitable site, the planned services stayed on the cards, but never materialised. Some other planned services, such as Colnbrook, were planned on the basis that services would be provided at Trumps Green.