Modern Roadchef services at the M1/A43 junction, although it has been designed so that you can enter and leave the services without passing through the main junction.
Catering: Costa, Fresh Food Café, McDonald's, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme, Costa Drive Thru (southbound only) Shops: WHSmith, Spar (northbound only), Blue Cherry Main Amenities: Ecotricity electric vehicle charging point, Game On, Jackpot £500, Showers Motel: none Forecourt: BP, Shop, Wild Bean Café, Air1 AdBlue
First two hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £20 and HGVs, caravans and coaches £27, or £29 to include a £10 food voucher.
Prices are paid using PayByPhone - more details or in the shop or restaurant. The location code is 5250 (northbound) and 5251 (southbound).
The fees are strictly enforced by CP Plus.
Northampton Motorway Service Area
Trivia and History
It was called Rothersthorpe until Roadchef took it over from Blue Boar. They replaced the building as part of a significant investment, and gave it a new name to boot.
The northbound side was used to trial Spar. It opened on 30 September 2015 and was later introduced to more services.
The filling station is operated by BP Express.
The southbound Costa Drive Thru opened on 25 August 2017.
Rothersthorpe was one of five small services first zoned. It served as only a northbound maintenance compound until it was decided the adjacent Watford Gap was too full. As both Rothersthorpe and Watford Gap were so small, an exception was made to the rule which would have prevented Blue Boar from running both. When tendering for a new operator, an emphasis was placed on it being a difficult site requiring experience to run it.
A footbridge between the two sides of the services needed to be built at the same time as the motorway, although it was rushed and never formally approved. This and the large maintenance compound left little room to design and landscape the services, causing it to look tired from the moment it eventually opened.
Eventually two very small, brick buildings were built next to the footbridge, designed mainly for commercial traffic. They were described as "austere" and "stark", and faced a number of planning difficulties. Each one was a short rectangle with a tall roof that doubled-up as a canopy; the southbound side was two-storey while northbound was single-storey. The northbound restaurant was called Mae's Diner.
The footbridge was replaced in 1980. There was also a plan to build a motel here but it was refused.
In 1986, Which? said the restaurant was "small but cheerful", and that the services were "drab but clean".
After Roadchef took over, in 2001 they replaced each building with a more modern design. It was re-built in phases with the new buildings built first, and then the old ones demolished; southbound last. The new buildings were provided east of the existing ones, with larger forecourts too.
The footbridge couldn't be demolished without closing the motorway, so instead it was left in place for staff use. It is higher at the southbound end, reflecting the fact it used to meet a two-storey building on that side.
Originally, there would have been a rear access on to Banbury Lane to the west, and then later the new A43 to the east.
In 1983, plans were drawn up to improve the A43, with the new road opening in 1988. A simple junction was built which was wrapped around the services, which then grew to fill the space available. Despite the new junction, the services retained their original online design, meaning visitors can, if they like, choose which facility they visit.
The new design re-used the sliproads to the east (south), but built some new ones at the west (north) end.
|Newport Pagnell (13 miles)||Services on the M1||Watford Gap (10 miles)|
| Cherwell Valley (22 miles)|
Towcester (7 miles)
|Services on the A43||none|
|none nearby||Roadchef services||Watford Gap (10 miles)|
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