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Unbuilt Services On The A14

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For a list of current service areas on the A14, see Services on the A14.

The A14 isn't a motorway, but it does behave like one. It has tried to be one, and in places it looks like one, but it isn't one.

The service areas are a case in point. In theory, anybody can build a small petrol station or a hotel on the A14 - they just need to get through the planning system. The planning system will argue that the countryside shouldn't be spoilt, that a new exit on the A14 wouldn't be safe and that there is no need for any new facilities. As a result you end up with larger facilities spaced further apart and generally owned by the same few companies - just like on a motorway!

The Link Road

The M1-A1 Link Road - better known as the westernmost section of the A14 - opened in 1994. As early as 1987, the local authorities along the route realised they were about to be inundated with plans for new service areas, and figured they should work together to ensure that they didn't reject too many proposals.

Local authorities formed joint policy for A1/M1 link 1987. This recommended services at:

In 1987, a joint policy was published which recommended building service areas in the following places:

  • A14 J1 (Welford)
  • either A14 J7 (A43 Kettering) or A14 J9 (now Kettering Business Park)
  • A14 J13 (Thrapston)
  • A14 J21 (Brampton Hut)

You will see from the details on this page that the plan did have some influence on the proposals which came forward, but it wasn't entirely followed.

In 1990 Kettering Borough Council did register a planning application to build a service area at the business park at A14 J9, in an effort to prove that it was better than the other proposals. Their application was withdrawn, and an unrelated hotel-restaurant has now been built there.

Private Proposals

Field near A14.
The site proposed for Catthorpe/Swinford services.

As the A14 is not a motorway, the Department of Transport (and its equivalents) don't propose new service areas. Pretty much all proposals are therefore private proposals.

The table below lists many of the proposals to provide significant facilities on the A14 which we have found, generally involving the construction of at least a petrol station, restaurant and several parking areas. Smaller developments (including sites which have grown over many decades) are not included.

Note also that our list refers to the road which is now called the A14, regardless of what it was called at the time each service area was planned.

Place Location Proposed Resolved Outcome Notes
Kentford J38-39 1975 1980 Built. Planned by BP.
Rougham J44-45 1977 1989 Refused. Planned by BP.
Beacon Hill J51 (north-west corner) 1980 1988 Built.
Godmanchester J24 (south-east corner) 1980 1990 Withdrawn. Planned by Trusthouse Forte and Norfolk House. Eventually opened as a petrol station and truckstop.
Girton J31-32 1981 1983 Refused. Planned by Modeluxe Linen Services Ltd. Refused because it's green belt land, and existing facilities are available.
Newmarket J36-37 1983 1984 Built. Planned by Landware Group Holdings.
Fenstanton J27 1984 1989 Built. Planned by Norfolk House.
Abbots J24A (south-east corner) 1984 1991? Built. Planned by Trusthouse Forte. Upgrade of an existing site.
Orwell J51 (north-west corner) 1986 1989 Built. Planned by Turnkey Designs Ltd.
Swinford J0 1988 1989 Refused. Planned by Marquis Penna.
Copdock Mill J55 1988 1989? Built. Closed in 1993.
Swinford/Catthorpe J0 1988 2006 Withdrawn. Planned by Esso, Shell, Texaco and Extra. Some plans had it joining Rugby Road, others had it joining the A14 eastbound. A petition against it was circulated locally. In 2000 the Highways Agency announced their intention to remove the eastern roundabout. Planning permission was granted and renewed in 2003. In 2005 the land was purchased by Extra's parent company, apparently having been assured that it could be a motorway service area. This would match with the Highways Agency's original intention to build a large roundabout linking the M1 and M6. Despite objections from Extra, the new junction layout was opened in 2017 and makes connecting a service area impossible.
Brampton Hut J21 (south-west corner) 1989 1992 Built. Planned by The Petergrove Consortium & S.P.Morley, Tim Martindale Associate and Norfolk House. Upgrade of an existing site.
Naseby (Portly Ford Lodge) J1 (north-west corner) 1987 1989 Refused. Planned by Norfolk House.
Naseby (Portly Ford Farm) J1 (north-east corner) 1989 1992 Refused. Planned by Tarmac Quarry Products Ltd. Now used as a local truckstop.
Naseby (Avon Valley) J1-2 1987 1990 Refused. The westbound side would have been smaller.
Thrapston J13 1987 1991 Built. Planned by Trusthouse Forte.
Rothwell Lodge Farm J5-6 (Thorpe Malsor Road) 1988? 1988? Refused? Planned by Lawlor Land Company.
Rothwell Lodge Farm J5 (south-east corner) 1988? 1988? Refused? Planned by Lawlor Land Company.
Rothwell Farm J5 (north-west corner) 1988? 1994 Built. Planned by Esso.
Nacton Heath (Orwell Crossing) J57-58 1988 1995? Built. Later closed and converted into a truckstop.
Kettering J8-9 1990? 1994 Built. Planned by Mobil.
Cambridge J24 (previously J28) 1991 2000 Built. Planned by Texaco and Extra. Designed as a motorway site for the planned A14(M).
Brampton Hut J21 (south-east corner) 1994 1994 Refused. Planned by Nobel Industries Sweden (UK). Refused on appeal. Appears to be based on old road alignment.
Cold Ashby J1 (south-west corner) 1997 1998 Withdrawn. Planned by Aig Remediation Limited.
Rothwell Truckstop J3 (south-east corner) 2010 2019 Built. Planned by Rothwell Land Ltd and Welcome Break.
Spaldwick J18 2012 2017 Built. The original local petrol station has been refurbished several times, but a total rebuild took place under Applegreen.

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