Motorway Services Online

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Cullompton services

Location:

M5 at J28
(also accessible to traffic on the A373 and the B3181)

Signposted from the road? Northbound only

Post Code:

EX15 1PA

map and directions

Access/Layout:

Single site located at a junction.

Rating: See the reviews



Cullompton is a small service area signed only from the northbound side. Southbound traffic can access it from J28 just like northbound, it's just that there are no signs.

Facilities

Catering: Costa, McDonald's, Warren's Bakerywebsite, Nescafe Alegria Shops: WHSmith Main Amenities: Ecotricity Electric Vehicle Charging Point, Quicksilver, Showers Motel: none Forecourt: Shell, Select, Deli by Shell, Costa Express, Air1 AdBlue, Car Wash

Parking Prices

First three hours free for all vehicles, after which you must pay £28 per 24 hour period.

Prices can be paid at the machines in each parking area, and can be paid in Sterling or Euro, and by card, cash, fuel card or SNAP.

Contact Details

Address:
Cullompton Service Station
Honiton Road
Cullompton
Devon
EX15 1PA

Operators (Official Websites):


Trivia and History

CullomptonOutdoorSeating.jpg
The small site has little in the way of outdoor facilities.

Camera icon

Opened as McDonald's 1999
Re-branded Extra 2007?

Cullompton is a very small service area built on land acquired by Margram, who leased the facilities out to BP and McDonald's. In common with other Margram services they didn't use their own name, but let the brands take the lead: this meant it was McDonald's who had their name all over the site and the motorway signage.

Additional, unrelated, "local facilities" are signed from the junction.

Planning

The service area was planned in 1993 and again in 1996, while a possible service area was also considered at Willand.

It was built on the site of an old railway station yard. Space was left for a rail-stop facility to be added to the site, a plan which was eventually dropped in favour of more car parking.

Upon opening, the service area operated as two separate catering units, each with their own entrance. On the left was McDonald's and on the right was a vacant space, which soon turned into a Little Chef ran by their owners at the time, Moto. The two were linked by an internal corridor, which is where the toilets were.

Signing

During planning, the Highways Agency raised concerns that there wouldn't be enough parking spaces (at 143), which would mean that it couldn't be signed as a motorway service area. In addition, they were concerned about the impact on the low-capacity motorway interchange here. Cullompton was given planning permission, as was another new motorway service area at the next junction, Tiverton.

This created another new problem, which was that despite two services having planning permission, policy at the time stated that only one of them could be signed from the motorway. Instead a compromise was reached where Cullompton would be signposted from the M5 northbound only, in exchange for Tiverton being signposted from the M5 southbound. However, the improvements expected of Tiverton never materialised, so the M5 now has one more signposted service area when going northbound than southbound.

When the service area opened there were several attempts to add totem poles to the site, which the Highways Agency described as a "disappointing" effort to unofficially attract southbound motorists.

Subsequent Changes

In 2003, Margram sold their sites to Extra. Given the unusual layout of this site, it took a while for Extra to fully embrace it, but after 10 years it now looks the same as any other Extra site.

In 2004 the Little Chef became LP4 - Moto were phasing out their Little Chefs at the time, and one they didn't even own the rest of the site seemed like a sensible place to start. In April 2012 LP4 became a Costa ran again by Moto. Shortly after LP4 opened, a glass shelter was erected around the entrance, to give the impression of it having a single entrance.

The BP garage transferred to Shell in 2008, in line with all other Extra forecourts.

A 2010 refurbishment saw the toilet block moved from the entrance to the back, allowing a new WHSmith to open in the middle. This removed all evidence of the original 'disconnected' layout of the services. This also added a side-entrance to the back of the car park.

Warren's Bakery, a Cornwall-based bakery, was introduced to the services on 26 May 2015. This involved covering up some of the glass frontage added in 2004, again masking the original layout.

Reputation

The services came last in Holiday Which? Magazine's survey in 2006, as they said it was "little more than a McDonald's next to a petrol station", and it had un-flushed toilets with broken seats and broken locks. But Cullompton argued back, as reported on BBC News.

In August 2011, VisitEngland rated the services as 2 stars, making it one of the worst-rated.

Alternatives

Previous:Next:
Tiverton (4 miles)
Taunton Deane (14 miles)
Services on the M5 Exeter (12 miles)

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