Copdock Mill services
Today there is a retail park next to the A1214 which is signposted as services. Historically, it was a major service area on the A12 and what is now the A14, but most of the signs were taken down in 2011. The services can still be accessed from A14 J55.
Parking is reserved for users of the respective stores. In addition, a number of HGV spaces are provided next to the petrol station (charges not known).
Trivia and Design
Copdock really shouldn't count as a service area; it is no more special than any other supermarket next to a fast food restaurant. However, on the A1214, Suffolk County Council continue to erect signs saying 'Services', probably as a tribute to the site's unusual history or a reference to the lorry parking.
The London Road park and ride site is accessed through this area too.
The Tesco superstore opened in November 1987. The main service area is understood to have opened at a similar time - it can be made out on a map dated 1988. The main building was a low, brick building with a tall, red roof. Inside was The Granary and a branded shop.
The petrol station behind it was branded Texaco, and operated by Welcome Break, with HGV parking alongside it. The exit route - which involved driving around the supermarket - was at least half a mile longer than the simple and direct entry route.
Welcome Break stopped promoting the site in 1993, and in early 1994 Abbeygate Developments requested to demolish the main building, so it would have closed around this time after only a short life and with little evidence. The petrol station was sold to Tesco (the main supermarket has since been extended to bring it much closer to the petrol station), and the amenity building was replaced by Mothercare. A Burger King was built in the car park.
Following the closure of the main facility, the Highways Agency removed the road signs from their roads, but the local authority continues to promote the retail park as a service area.
Despite the lack detail available, there was a tiny amount of evidence: a single road sign in the Mothercare car park was in Welcome Break's styling, until it was removed in 2016. There are also some lamps with two globes, which were Welcome Break's.
Following the collapse of Mothercare in 2019, that store is now empty.
|Beacon Hill (9 miles)||Services on the A14||Orwell (5 miles)|
|Capel St Mary (4 miles)||Services on the A12||Orwell (5 miles)|