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Corley services

Welcome Break
Facilities | Rating | ReviewsCorley services
Road:M6 between J3 and J3a

Address:Welcome Break Ltd
Motorway Services Area M6
Telephone number:01676 540111
Signposted from the road?Yes
Grid reference:SP308860 (SABRE Maps)
Services type:Two sites located between junctions, connected by an internal bridge.
Visit Corley/Welcome Break's official website
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The first (or last) services on the M6, Corley's old building holds the usual facilities, next to the road.


Catering: Burger King, Harry Ramsden's, KFC, Starbucks, Starbucks Drive Thru, Subway, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme, Yorkshire Tea Shops: Fone Bitz, Waitrose, WHSmith Main Amenities: Ecotricity electric vehicle charging point, Showers, Welcome Break Gaming, Changing Places (northbound only) Motel: Days Innbook Forecourt: Shell (with: Autogas LPG), Select, Deli2go, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme, Yorkshire Tea, Top!Blue AdBlue

Parking Prices

First two hours free for all vehicles, after which HGVs, caravans and coaches must pay £27, or £29 to include a £10 meal voucher.

Prices can be paid in the shop, with instructions in each car park. They are strictly enforced by ParkingEye.

Last updated December 2017.

Trivia and History

When the services went to tender, Granada were forbidden to bid for it, as they already ran Frankley which technically was an adjoining service area. Granada protested this was pedantic and were eventually allowed to bid.

In the event, the best bids came from Esso and Fortes. Fortes were proposing a full restaurant whereas Esso just wanted to provide automated catering, and with Esso having not proven themselves at the time, Fortes won the contract.


M6 services old.
The amenity building designed to look attractive to passer-bys.

The site for the services was originally going to be to the west at Chapel Green, but this required too many earthworks, so Corley was found instead.

When it was being designed, Corley and Trumps Green were thought to be the only commercially attractive services, with 30 more proposed services effectively being a waste of money. Corley was planned to be very large, mainly to allow for landscaping that was only recently being considered important, and it required local roads to be diverted around it. A previous plan used much less land, sticking much closer to the motorway.

At the time it was built, most operators had decided it was best to design buildings that took customers' minds away from the motorway. On the other hand Fortes still believed that being visible from the motorway would attract custom, and if a dodgy footbridge hadn't already been supplied by the Department for Transport when preparing the site, they would have built a replica of Keele here.

Instead they designed a bright, honey-coloured building and added a lot of cladding to the footbridge. Large windows kept the dining areas light.

Corley was thought to be the largest service area in Europe when it opened, albeit with a tiny entrance foyer causing crowding on each side.


Five years after it opened, Fortes were criticised for setting up takeaway catering units in the car park while refusing to extend the small toilets. Naturally, they were only interested in the profitable areas, and at a time when most of the industry was struggling Corley was making Fortes a significant profit. They tried to take advantage of this with unauthorised facilities such as a bouncy castle and a crazy golf course.

On 24 June 1974, the services closed completely due to industrial action. At a similar time, the north-westbound services were closed amid fears of subsidence from the coal seams below. Secretly, Fortes were delighted at the savings this allowed them to make.

In the 1990s improvements to the services were halted due to plans to widen the M6, which could have seen it demolished.


Corley motorway services.
Inside the foyer in 1983.

Originally the services carried Fortes's usual fine-dining experience, but by the 1980s Little Chef, Julie's Pantry and The Granary had replaced the traditional offer. There was a Little Chef and Julie's on each side, which all closed in phases between 1995 and 1998.

On 12 May 2006 a Starbucks facility along with Coffee Primo was added to the westbound side. It was the first Starbucks to be built on the motorway network. The services had been the first to get a Coffee Primo several years before.

The hotel opened on 1 June 2008, although one had been planned here for many years - at one time a Little Chef Lodge was planned.

Survey Results

Use with care. Outdated surveys have been included for interest only.

In Spring 2017, Transport Focus calculated a 99% satisfaction score for the north-westbound services and 93% for the south-eastbound services.

In October 2016, the northbound forecourt was awarded the 'Motorway Forecourt of the Year' award at the Forecourt Trader Awards 2016.

In 2015, May 2012 and August 2011, VisitEngland rated the services as 3 stars.

In 2008 the westbound services won a five star loo award.

In 2006 and again in 2007, Corley's petrol station won a five star loo award. The services got a four star.

In 2006 Holiday Which? rated Corley as 3/5.

A 1995 review in The Independent gave the services one star, being particularly critical of how hard it was to escape views of the motorway.

In 1991, Which? rated the services "average".

A 1978 government review described the services as "scruffy and prison-like".

In 1977 Egon Ronay rated the south-eastbound services as "poor", although accepting it was clean and cheerful, even if the toilets did smell. In 1974 he also said the food was poor. He compared the bridge to a very long train carriage.


none on M6
Watford Gap (M1 south, 23 miles)
Leicester Forest East (M1 north, 22 miles)
Warwick (M40, 28 miles)
Services on the M6 Hilton Park (28 miles)
Norton Canes (M6 Toll, 31 miles)
Telford (M54, 44 miles)
Tamworth (M42 north, 18 miles)
Hopwood Park (M42 south, 24 miles)
none on M6
Newport Pagnell (M1 south, 47 miles)
Leicester Forest East (M1 north, 22 miles)
Warwick (M40, 28 miles)
Welcome Break services Keele (57 miles)
Telford (M54, 44 miles)
Hopwood Park (M42 south, 24 miles)

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