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Long Whatton

Long Whatton:

Road: M1 between J23 and J23a
Location: Long Whatton, Loughborough, Leicestershire
Grid reference: SK471230 (SABRE Maps)

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Long Whatton western field.jpg
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Long Whatton services would have been located on the M1 between J23 and what is now known as J23a.

It is actually one of few services on the M1 which didn't materialise as planned. When the motorway was built, four 'ghost slips' were built to allow for easy construction of the services.

Until the construction of the motorway, there was some debate over the best location for the services, with objections from residents and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

As the motorway is on an embankment at this point, an underpass would have been needed if the two sides were to be connected. There was some concern over this as only bridges had been used until then, but an underpass was described as a "welcome variation" which stopped all services looking the same. It was assumed the underpass would be built with the motorway to save construction costs, but it didn't happen. Concerns about other services being limited by existing bridges were cited as the reason.

The land for the services was never bought, as it would have been compulsory purchased when required. There had been plans to build a maintenance compound here but this was dropped.

Other Uses[edit]

Like Chapeltown, the south-facing unused sliproads here were once planned to form the end of an unbuilt motorway, this time the M64 from Stoke-on-Trent. Presumably the M64 plan was developed separately after it began to look like the services wouldn't go ahead.

Modern Alternatives[edit]

Following increases in traffic levels and the opening of the A42, in 1999 service area opened less than a mile up the road at the new J23a, Donington Park.