A busy service area with a large building, located off the busy A14 road.
COVID-19 update: These details were updated on 20 February 2021, with changes caused by COVID-19.
Catering: BakeHouse, Chopstix Noodle Bar, Costa, El Mexicana, KFC, McDonald's, Krispy Kreme, Nescafe Alegria Shops: M&S Simply Food, WHSmith Main Amenities: Children's Play Area, Showers, HGV Covid-19 Test Centre Hotel: Ramada Charging Points: Ecotricity, IONITY Forecourt: Shell, Select, deli by Shell, Costa Express, Air1 AdBlue, Car Wash, Free Cash Machine
First 3 hours free for all vehicles, after which charges apply:
Up to 4 hours (including free period): £9 Up to 6 hours: £20 Up to 8 hours: £27 Up to 15 hours: £30 Up to 24 hours: £35 Up to 48 hours: £48 Up to 72 hours: £90 Each additional 24 hours or part: £35 Trailer swaps: £15
Prices are paid at the parking machines in the car park and food court, and can be paid using GBP, Euros, using fuel cards or SNAP.
This information is provided to us by third parties. You should always check with staff on site.
🌍 Operators (Official Websites):
Trivia and History
The service area opened on 1 December 2000 and became the biggest and busiest of Extra's first three services. They said that most of the units would become conference facilities and they would not use franchises. Strictly speaking they haven't used franchises, but they've leased units out to firms who do.
Extra are current proposing to significantly change the parking layout at the site including the introduction of over 100 new HGV parking bays to the north of the site as well as reconfiguring the main car park and relocating the caravan and coach park too. These plans will also create a large looped circuit around the back of the main amenity building from the new HGV park to the main access roads.
Shell are also planning to add a further 6 IONITY electric vehicle charging bays to their forecourt in addition to the current 6 available in the main car park.
The motel here was originally a Days Inn, however it was re-branded and refurbished in July 2015.
Ed's Easy Diner and a Wafflemeister kiosk were both trialled here alongside Extra's site at Peterborough however these both closed in 2019. Wafflemeister was replaced by Sweet Barrels in late 2019 which later closed itself in March 2020 following the coronavirus lockdown.
Early facilities included a McColl's newsagent. A Ben & Jerry's kiosk was also trialled here for a time.
A Warren's Bakery unit operated by SSP opened here in February 2020 occupying the former Patisserie Valerie unit.
Plan and Motorway Confusion
See also: A14 Planning Applications
The need for a new service area arose after concerns about HGVs struggling to find places to park, and sometimes behaving inappropriately. This problem was set to become worse with a plan to upgrade the A14 here. After ruling out building at Bar Hill, in 1991 Texaco received planning permission for a new service area here. It would have been a much smaller site set far back from the roundabout, but still with a separate amenity building, likely to be leased to another operator. A 100m development-free zone was established next to the services, to leave room for the planned A14 upgrade.
With confusion about when the A14 was going to be upgraded, whether it would be a motorway or whether it wouldn't happen at all, Texaco didn't go ahead with their plan. In 1996 it looked like the road wasn't going to be upgraded at all, so Extra came up with a plan similar to what was eventually built. The 100m development-free zone continued to be respected. There were a number of concerns that the development would be inappropriate in this area, but planning permission was still granted. It was renewed with a new proposal in 1999.
Cambridge service area built very close to Lolworth services, which was regarded as being fine for cars but too small for HGVs. The presence of Cambridge as a large competitor caused Lolworth to scale right back, and eventually close.
Even More Confusion
When Cambridge services opened, blue signs were mistakenly used, instead of the correct (at the time) green signs. The incorrect signage implies that Cambridge is a motorway service area, when there is no motorway for it to serve. Some listings have referred to it as being at the end of the M11.
In 2016, work started on a new project to upgrade the A14, utilising the protected empty zone. The new road has a larger junction at Swavesey, marginally increasing the journey time between the road and the service area. In 2018, it was announced that Highways England intended to open the new road as a motorway. Cambridge committed to meeting the standards required of an MSA, and blue motorway signs for "Cambridge services" were drawn up.
In October 2019 the plan to open the upgraded road as a motorway was been dropped, meaning Cambridge services can continue as it has done as a regular A-road service area.
Despite that, in April 2020 Cambridge managed to be the only A-road service area included on Highways England's motorway service area list. It seems Cambridge's efforts to sneak itself into the motorway classification are never going to end.
|Fenstanton (A1307 eastbound, 3 miles)|
Brampton Hut (12 miles)
Peterborough (A1(M) north, 24 miles)
|Services on the A14||Newmarket (19 miles)|
Birchanger Green (M11, 32 miles)
|Peterborough (A1(M) north, 30 miles)||Extra services||none|
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