Motorway Services Online

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Road: M18 between J4 and J5
Location: Hatfield, Doncaster, South Yorkshire
Date planned: 1973-1992
Grid reference: SE667088 (SABRE Maps)
See also: Hensall

Google Maps link


Hatfield southbound.jpg

This is a once-planned service area on the M18. For the existing services at J5, see Doncaster (North).

Hatfield services would have been a motorway service area on the M18. It is a large site with the land considerably lower than the motorway passing through it (like at Rownhams) to reduce either the environmental impact or construction costs. Consequently it is now used unofficially as a skate park.

Due to the order in which the motorways in this area were built, Woodall was the highest-priority to get open. Hatfield was designed to relieve it but until recently that relief was never deemed to be required.

Emergency access would have been provided through Mill Hill Road, which was bisected by the motorway. The services include a subway under the motorway, again to reduce the impact and avoid the costs of a bridge. This and the sliproads are the only parts of the services which were built.

Following the failure of Hensall, it was suggested Hatfield be built immediately. A 1973 report suggested bids would soon be received in time for a 1975 opening, but this was delayed by problems constructing the road; a 1976 report suggested it would be open by 1979; there is then talk of it happening throughout the 1980s and a 1990 document suggested it would be open in 1992. Throughout, it was difficult to find any interested developers.

Plans have varied in scale: some suggesting only fuel needed to be provided, others proposed a large site.

Modern Alternatives[edit]

After the government allowed operators to suggest potential sites for services in 1992, Pavilion decided the M18 would be a viable spot for a motorway service area. Rather than building it here they chose a site one mile to the north at J5, where only one set of facilities would be needed and it can serve the M180 as well as the M18.

One of the unused sliproads for the services now holds a sign for Doncaster services, just for irony's sake.