Unbuilt Services On The A34
For a list of current service areas on the A34, see Services on the A34.
Unlike many other roads featured in this section, the A34 has been linking Hampshire and Oxfordshire since 1922.
For the most part, the modern road is loyal to its original route, even if it is much faster and much wider. Whenever one bypass was provided, there would still be existing facilities available further up the road, so there was never much need for a wholesale service area review.
The petrol station at Berkshire Downs and the southbound facilities at Family Farm are two examples of old facilities which have seen the road grow around them. The other service areas were new-build developments which were put forward as new sections of the road opened. The Burghclere Garage was probably the most well-known facility to close; it was positioned south of Newbury and closed after the Bypass opened.
The only especially controversial part of the A34's history (as far as service areas are concerned) was the area around Abingdon. Here a cluster of planning applications were made in around 1987, once all the dual carriageway sections were beginning to join up. Other events around this time include work starting on the M40, and proposals to complete the M3 and provide a bypass for Newbury. All of these pointed towards the A34 being about to become very busy, and prompted developers to investigate any gap they could find. These applications were resolved with a public inquiry.
Prior to this, Abingdon saw another quirk. In 1975, when the town's bypass had just opened, Vale Of White Horse District Council proposed building a service area at the Marcham Interchange, where the large Tesco store is now. They later withdrew their plan. Their intention may have been to encourage a developer to purchase the land.
As the A34 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 A34 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) may not be included.
It goes without saying that we are only looking at the busiest section of the A34, between Winchester and Wendlebury. The rest of the road to Manchester has some local service stations, but nothing comparable with the trunk road service areas we are looking at here.
|Peartree||MP 88 (east side)||1961||1964||Built.||Planned by Forte.|
|Berkshire Downs (northbound)||MP 59||1970||1976||Withdrawn.||Planned by G. H. King (Agriculture) Ltd.|
|Milton Heights (Didcot)||MP 64 (south-east corner)||1972||1985||Built.||Planned by Minscombe Properties.|
|Chieveley||MP 31 (Bird's Lane)||1975||1986||Part-built.||Planned by Trusthouse Forte and Granada. Was supposed to straddle both sides of the A34.|
|Whitway||MP 31||1983||1983||Refused.||Planned by Ultramar Golden Eagle Ltd.|
|Sutton Scotney||MP 11 (Stockbridge Road)||1983||1986||Built.||Planned by Trusthouse Forte.|
|West Ilsley||MP 57 (south-west corner)||1986||1986||Refused.||Planned by G. H. King (Agriculture) Ltd. Refused because it's an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and there were road safety concerns.|
|Berkshire Downs||MP 59||1986||1987||Withdrawn.||Planned by Heron Property Corps Ltd. The petrol station has been there for years, but this was an attempt to rebuild it.|
|Chilton (Church Farm)||MP 57 (east side)||1987||1987||Refused.||Refused because there was no proven need, and it's green belt land.|
|Abingdon (Blagrove Farm)||MP 76||1987||1987||Refused.||Planned by Norfolk House. Would have been staggered across the road. Refused because there was no proven need, and it's green belt land.|
|Abingdon (West End)||MP 70||1987||1987||Refused.||Planned by Abingdon Town Council with Trusthouse Forte. Refused on road safety grounds. Inclusion of a Little Chef Lodge didn't help them.|
|Chilton Bridge||MP 58 (north-west corner)||1987||1987||Refused.||Planned by Esso. Included construction of new northbound slip road (which didn't exist at the time). Refused because there was no proven need, and road safety concerns with the junction layout.|
|Steventon||MP 66||1987||1987||Refused.||Planned by BP.|
|Drayton (Manor Farm)||MP 67||1987||1988||Refused.||Planned by Norfolk House. Large development with restaurant and tourist information buildings on both sides of the road.|
|Tot Hill||MP 33 (west side)||1991||1998||Refused.||Planned by Thornfield Roadside Ltd and Redmoor Properties to replace Burghclere Garage.|
|Family Farm (northbound)||MP 95||199x||1994?||Built.||Planned by Trusthouse Forte.|
|Wash Common||MP 36 (north-east corner)||1994||1994||Refused.||Planned by Trusthouse Forte.|
|Chilton||MP 58 (north-west corner)||2016||2019||Refused.||Planned by Strutt & Parker. Was to be built in the middle of the new junction. Refused because there was no proven need, and it's an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.|