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Lancaster services

Facilities | Rating | ReviewsLancaster services
Road:M6 between J32 and J33

Address:Granada Lancaster
Forton Motorway Service Area M6
Bay Horse
Telephone number:01524 791775
Signposted from the road?Yes
Previous names:Forton, Lancaster (Forton)
Grid reference:SD502520 (SABRE Maps)
Services type:Two sites located between junctions, connected by an internal bridge.
Visit Lancaster Northbound/Moto's official website
Visit Lancaster Southbound/Moto's official website
Forton Services Website

Quite possibly the most iconic service station of all, Lancaster is famous for its large tower sticking out of the northbound building (see trivia). Today, Lancaster has been moved around quite a bit and the toilets are now upstairs. The tower is closed to the public.


Catering: Arlo's, Burger King, Costa, Greggs, West Cornwall Pasty Co, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme Shops: Cotton Traders, Fone Bitz, Ladbrokes, M&S Simply Food, WHSmith Main Amenities: Children's Play Area, Ecotricity electric vehicle charging point, Lucky Coin, Showers, Multi Faith Room Motel: Travelodgebook Forecourt: BP, Shop, Costa Express, Air1 AdBlue, Greggs (northbound only)

Parking Prices

First two hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £15 and HGVs, caravans and motorhomes £23. HGVs can pay £24.50 to include a £10 food voucher.

Prices are paid using PayByPhone - more details. The location code is 2448 (northbound) and 2449 (southbound).

The fees are strictly enforced by CP Plus.

Trivia and Details

M6 viewed from Forton.
The view which used to be available from the tower-restaurant.

Full details: History:Lancaster

For many years the name 'Forton services' was used on all example diagrams of road signs, including drawings of non-motorway signs.

The services used to be listed by the Highways Agency as an "approved truckstop", but this is no longer the case.

During early 2017, the northbound side underwent a minor refurbishment and on 7 March an Arlo's outlet opened replacing the former EDC outlet. The Costa unit was also refurbished and reopened during this time. A Greggs outlet opened on 30 March.

Pennine Tower

Full details: The Pennine Tower

The service station is known almost exclusively for the 65-foot (20m) tower attached to the northbound building, visible from afar on the north side and described in one publicity leaflet as being "a luxury observation platform". It closed in 1989. Full details are given on its own page.

Survey Results

Use with care. Outdated surveys have been included for interest only.

In Spring 2017, Transport Focus calculated a 82% satisfaction score for the northbound services and 90% for the southbound services.

In 2015, both sides of the services were rated as 4 stars by VisitEngland.

In May 2012, VisitEngland rated the northbound services as 3 stars and southbound as 2 stars. In August 2011, both sides were rated 3 stars.

In 2008, 2009 again in 2010 the services won a five star loo award - one of few Motos to take part in the event

In 2006 the services won a four star loo award.

Also in 2006, Holiday Which? rated the services at 4/5.

In 2000, the services were rated "poor" by The AA. It came last in a subsequent survey.

In 1991, Which? rated the services as "average".

A 1978 government review described the services as "a soulless fairground".

In 1977, Egon Ronay rated the services as "appalling". The steak and kidney pie was "an insult to one's taste buds" while the apple pie was "an absolute disgrace". He said everywhere needed maintenance and a coat of paint, the toilets were smelly and dirty, and the food on display was most unattractive. The tower-restaurant's tables were neatly laid, even if the food it sold was "an insult to the public".


Charnock Richard (24 miles)
Rivington (M61, 28 miles)
Blackburn with Darwen (M65, 26 miles)
Tickled Trout (15 miles)
Services on the M6 Burton-in-Kendal (M6 northbound, 14 miles)
Killington Lake (M6 southbound, 26 miles)
Carnforth truckstop (13 miles)
Lymm (48 miles)
Birch (M62, 41 miles)
Moto services Burton-in-Kendal (M6 northbound, 14 miles)
Southwaite (64 miles)

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