Motorway Services Online

Retrieved from "https://motorwayservicesonline.co.uk/Clacket_Lane"

Clacket Lane services

Clacket Lane
Roadchef
Facilities | Rating | ReviewsClacket Lane services
Road:M25 between J5 and J6

MAP AND DIRECTIONS
Address:Roadchef Motorways Ltd
Motorway Service Area M25 Westbound
Clacket Lane
Westerham
Surrey
TN16 2ER
Telephone number:01959 565577
Signposted from the road?As McDonald's/Costa
Opened:1993
Grid reference:TQ423545
Services type:Two sites located between junctions, with no public connection between them.
Visit Clacket Lane/Roadchef's official website
Foursquare

Clacket Lane consists of two large services on the M25 and it's a popular stopping point for coaches and lorries.

Facilities

Catering: Chozen Noodle, Costa, Fresh Food Café, McDonald's, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme, Typhoo, Costa Drive Thru, Carvery Express (eastbound 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 Innbook Forecourt: BP, BP Connect, Wild Bean Café

Parking Prices

First two hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £12 and HGVs, caravans and coaches £24, or £28 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.

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.

Location

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.

Once services were no longer being set up by the Department for Transport, Roadchef picked it up and spent £35m developing it.

It opened on 21 July 1993. Roadchef registered the trademark Route 25 at this time, but its purpose isn't clear.

Brand Changes

Clacket Lane services.
Looking down the corridor to the refurbished seating area.

The services was the first Roadchef site to introduce the 'Engenie Electric Car Charging Points'. These later changed to 'Ecotricity' charging points.

The filling stations here were originally ran by Elf and then Total. This then changed to Shell in early 2013 which in September 2013 changed to BP.

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.

A Spar was trialled here in 2003, and introduced again in 2016.

Survey Results

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:

Category:Rating:
Road safety and parking:Good
Outdoor facilities:Acceptable
Access and indoor facilities:Acceptable
Catering:Acceptable
Shop:Very Good
Family Friendliness:Acceptable
Service:Good
Hygiene:Acceptable
Pricing:Very Poor
Final Score: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:

Category:Rating:
Road safety and parking:Good
Outdoor facilities:Acceptable
Access and indoor facilities:Good
Catering:Acceptable
Shop:Very Good
Service:Acceptable
Communications:Very Poor
Hygiene:Very Poor
Pricing:Very Poor
Final Score:Poor

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.

Alternatives

Previous:Next:
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

Visitor Feedback

The below feedback has been provided by visitors of Motorway Services Online for public viewing. Roadchef have an official review form, with prize draw.


Views expressed in these comments are those of the individual contributor. They are moderated by Facebook.