Forecourt operator Mobil built three motorway services before selling them on. In the early days, motorway services were provided primarily to allow vehicle maintenance and repairs, so a fuel company taking them on made sense, especially for the smaller sites where catering sales would be low.
In the 1980s, Mobil had special permission to provide catering by vending machine only. At Burton, catering was leased to Granada, who had their name advertised on the signs.
As time went on, the focus of services shifted and began to require specialised hospitality companies. This, and probably the pressure of the industry, caused Mobil to sell their leases to other operators and forecourt providers.
After Being An Operator
In the early 1990s, building new motorway services became popular, and Mobil made several planning applications. At those which were successful (Reading, Stafford and Warwick), the publicity described each one as a "joint enterprise" between Mobil and another operator. In addition, Granada would usually pick Mobil as their chosen fuel partner.
At the time, service area planning applications would often be submitted in two halves, with the forecourt submitted separately. It's possible that this just means Mobil were intending to run the forecourt, but at some the wording implies they wanted to run the whole site.
All Mobil petrol stations, including the motorway ones, included a shop branded 'Mobil Mart', and a prominent logo consisting of a pegasus on a circle.
Mobil's UK operations were merged with BP in 1996, and Mobil branding was reduced. When the Mobil business was acquired by Exxon, BP acquired Mobil's petrol stations and removed all Mobil branding. Exxon reintroduced Mobil as a brand of premium quality oil.
The following services were owned by Mobil, even if other parts were leased out:
- Barton Park (A1(M))
- Burton West (M6)
- Kinross (M90)
- Michaelwood (M5)
- Reading (M4)
- Stafford (North) (M6)
- Warwick (M40)
Mobil provided fuel at the following services:
- Barton Stacey (A303)
- The Buck (A303)
- Buckland (A420)
- Budbrooke (A46)
- Chieveley (M4/A34)
- Hardwicke (A38)
- Hartshead Moor (M62)
- Leicester (M1)
- Leigh Delamere (M4)
- Milton Heights (Didcot) (A34)
- Orsett Cock (A13)
- Reading (M4)
- Swanwick (A38)
- Toddington (M1)
- West Cave westbound (A63)
The following services were planned by Mobil but never built.