Clacket Lane services
|Facilities | Rating | Reviews|
|Road:||M25 between J5 and J6|
MAP AND DIRECTIONS
|Address:||Roadchef Motorways Ltd|
Motorway Service Area M25 Westbound
|Telephone number:||01959 565577|
|Signposted from the road?||Yes|
|Grid reference:||TQ423545 (SABRE Maps)|
|Services type:||Two sites located between junctions, with no public connection between them.|
|Visit Clacket Lane/Roadchef's official website|
Clacket Lane consists of two large services on the M25 and it's a popular stopping point for coaches and lorries.
Catering: Chozen Noodle, Costa, Fresh Food Café, McDonald's, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme, Typhoo, Costa Drive Thru, Carvery Express (eastbound only), Pret a Manger (westbound only) Shops: Cotton Traders, Fone Bitz, WHSmith, Spar (eastbound only) Main Amenities: Children's Play Area, Ecotricity electric vehicle charging point, Jackpot £500, Showers, Regus Express (westbound only) Motel: Days Inn Forecourt: BP, BP Connect, Wild Bean Café
First two hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £12 and HGVs, caravans and coaches £27, or £30 to include a £10 food voucher.
Prices are paid using PayByPhone - more details or in the shop or restaurant. The location code is 5258 (westbound) and 5257 (eastbound).
The fees are strictly enforced by CP Plus.
Last updated March 2018.
Trivia & Details
Between 1993 and 2008, Clacket Lane westbound was thought to be the largest services in the country. It also described itself as the "brightest". Being close to London and the Channel Ports, it has also at times stood out for its higher prices.
For a long time the services have had a problem with lorries parking on the hard shoulder to access the services. There are now bilingual 'no parking' signs on the exit from the services on each side.
The services sit right next to the Kent-Surrey border, causing confusion as the nearest postal town (Westerham) is in Kent, but the services aren't. Therefore, although "Westerham, Surrey" is usually wrong, when talking about the services it's right.
The two buildings were therefore designed to form a gateway to Kent/Surrey respectively, and the westbound side, once the first services for traffic coming up the newly-formed M20, a gateway to England, having a traditional English design trying to mimic a courtyard. Some of this styling is applied to the eastbound side, such as the brick wall around the building.
Planning and Opening
The site of Clacket Lane was chosen from around five possible junctions on the southern section of the M25. It was held as a back-up site from 1971, with Chevening being the preferred site but confirmed as being unusable in 1976.
Between J5 and J6 (known as the 'Titsey Woods' option), three individual sites were being repeatedly assessed. For ease of identification, those three were named Titsey Woods, Clacket Lane and Brasted - Clacket Lane being literally named after the adjoining the street. That option was chosen and the unusual name stuck.
The decision to change the name from Titsey Woods to Clacket Lane was to identify the three options and not, as this site has previously suggested, because there were fears 'Titsey services' wouldn't be taken seriously. In each amenity building there is a large cabinet titled 'The History of Titsey Woods', which has several Roman artefacts which were discovered whilst the services were constructed.
The Department's change from pursuing Chevening to the reserve site at Clacket Lane caused the Daily Mail to claim Clacket Lane services had been planned in secrecy. Inspired by this, objectors with concerns about the operation of the services took the proposal to the High Court. This caused a delay to many other services which were planned at the time. Indeed the site of Clacket Lane was confirmed in 1976, but it took almost 20 years to make it past all the studies and arguments.
As it was still the preferred site when the M25 was built in 1979, ghost slips were included here, and the road bridge was widened to accommodate them. However, the services took so long to open that the eventual plan ended up being much larger than before, and didn't use those slip roads. There was a debate over whether a footbridge should be provided, but it wasn't.
Roadchef spent £35m developing the services. The building looked much like the supermarket design at the time, with one newspaper calling it "a toned-down, Tesco-style bungalow". There was a burger bar called Route 25, and a sculpture in the middle of the shopping mall.
It opened on 21 July 1993.
The services was the first Roadchef site to introduce the 'Engenie Electric Car Charging Points'. These later changed to 'Ecotricity' charging points.
The Bread Kitchen was trialled here in 2012.
As with all Roadchef services, the inside used to have a long corridor design. Much of this is retained at the back, but in 2012 a McDonald's was introduced with a large seating area that crossed the main corridor, and a much smaller servery.
Use with care. Outdated surveys have been included for interest only.
In Spring 2017, Transport Focus calculated a 92% satisfaction score for the westbound services and 79% for the eastbound services.
In 2015, the services were rated 4 stars by VisitEngland.
In May 2012 and August 2011, VisitEngland rated the services as 3 stars.
Lord Adonis (Secretary of State for Transport) said he was "very impressed" by the services when he made a surprise visit in September 2009, saying it was clean and provided a good meal.
The services were inspected by The AA on 24 and 25 March 2007. These are their results:
|Road safety and parking:||Good|
|Access and indoor facilities:||Acceptable|
The services were said to be well supervised with a good range of items in the shop and restaurant. The food wasn't tasty though, it had no picnic benches or indoor play area, it was very expensive and it was described as dirty, with the fold-away baby changing tables being described as "hazardous to health".
The services were also inspected by The AA on 3 and 4 April 2004. These are their results:
|Road safety and parking:||Good|
|Access and indoor facilities:||Good|
In this test, the services were said to be well prepared and tasty. Again, the variety of stock in the shop was brought up, but again the services were described as "extremely dirty". The shop was expensive and the staff were unfriendly, too.
A 1995 review in The Independent gave the services three stars.
| Thurrock (18 miles)|
Maidstone (M20, 26 miles)
Medway (M2, 30 miles)
Tollgate (A2 eastbound, 21 miles)
Cobham (A2, 23 miles)
|Services on the M25||
Cobham (23 miles)|
Pease Pottage (M23, 23 miles)
Fleet (M3, 48 miles)
Ripley (A3, 26 miles)
|Maidstone (M20, 26 miles)||Roadchef services||none nearby|
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