Unbuilt Services On The M54
For a list of current service areas on the M54, see Services on the M54.
The M54 is not a long road, nor does it have a very long story. In fact it was never going to get its own page on this website, were it not for one word.
The Lizard Hill Story
See also: Telford
With most of the motorway opening in 1983, planning for service areas took place in the 1970s. This focused on Lizard Hill services.
Official paperwork described Lizard Hill as "needed but not urgently". It was on a relatively quiet motorway, not that far from where it petered out and let the A5 continue the journey which, at the time, ran through places such as Overley.
It's no surprise that no progress had been made on Lizard Hill by the time the motorway opened. Especially considering interest in service areas was declining, and the Prior Report of 1978 had recommended prioritising local concerns instead of building service areas mathematically.
What actually killed the plan for Lizard Hill was the interest from Lord Stafford in building a service area at Castle Farm, now known as Telford. This prompted the Department of Transport to consider that site. It was not something to take lightly: having support from a landowner can significantly reduce development costs, and building at a junction would reduce the scale, which in turn would reduce the likelihood of objects and increase the value of the site to developers.
In 1986 the Department of Transport said they were "considering the options", and in 1988 they made a formal planning application - more than they ever did for Lizard Hill. Progress was slow, and when service area development was privatised in 1992, the site still wasn't ready to be leased.
Since 1992, developers have been solely responsible for coming up with their own proposals for new motorway services. This led to an increase in proposals, but they are normally clustered around the same area and most are quickly ruled out.
In the case of the M54, the only private proposal has been the continuing case of Castle Farm. However, two more applications were made for M54 J7, which sounded like they were intending to serve the A5, but both describe themselves as "motorway service areas". As the M54 is that motorway, they have earned a place on this page.
|Cluddley (Barnfield Farm)||J7 (north-east corner)||1984||1985||Refused.||Planned by W. P. Forrester Esq. They said it was a motorway site, but it may have been aimed at the A5.|
|Telford (Castle Farm)||J4 (south-east corner)||1985||2003||Built.||DoT site planned by Lord Stafford, Bloomer Tweedale, Lanmead Limited, British Land Plc and Hallam Land Management.|
|Cluddley||J7 (south-east corner)||1986||1986||Refused.||Planned by Norfolk House London Limited. They said it was a motorway site, but it may have been aimed at the A5.|