Pease Pottage services
The largest services between London and Brighton, Pease Pottage has been grown a lot since it opened. Even so, it still occupies a small site and, being close to Gatwick and London, can quickly get very busy.
Catering: Burger King, Costa, Greggs, West Cornwall Pasty Co, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme Shops: M&S Simply Food, WHSmith Main Amenities: Ecotricity electric vehicle charging point, Full Hou$e, Lucky Coin, Showers Motel: none Forecourt: BP (with: BP Autogas LPG), Shop, Costa, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme, Air1 AdBlue
First two hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £15 and HGVs, caravans and motorhomes £28. HGVs can pay £29.50 to include a £10 food voucher.
Prices are paid using PayByPhone - more details. The location code is 2455.
The fees are strictly enforced by CP Plus.
Pease Pottage Motorway Services Area
- Telephone number: 01293 562852
- Grid reference: TQ263332
Trivia and History
From 2002 until 2005 there were plans to build a Travelodge here.
A long time was spent investigating possible sites for services on the M23, having to adapt to changing government policy and changing plans for the M23. Had the M23 been built as intended, there would have definitely been a service area north of the M25, near Woodmansterne.
Investigations in to the area around Gatwick concluded services could be built at Shipley Bridge, but it was later decided that the facilities on the A23 were sufficient enough. Next it was said that the M23 was too short to warrant any services.
Eventually the case was dropped, but Fortes spotted an opportunity to make money by providing their own facilities here. It opened in 1992 on the remaining section of a piece of land called Whaleshome Wood, most of which had been destroyed when the motorway junction was built.
Pease Pottage has often been regarded as the smallest service area in the UK, but the title is actually a lot more complicated as there are a number of services which may or may not count, and Pease Pottage itself was originally developed as a a-road service area.
Until recently the lack of size was clear from the fact that the services had relatively few facilities, with the M&S being in a new extension. It is probably true that it has the smallest footprint of any MSA, but the smallest building is at Severn View.
Given its lack of size you could be forgiven for thinking the services aren't important. For over 15 years, heading north it was 100 miles to the next services - Toddington on the M1 and Oxford on the M40. Thankfully, two new services, Cobham on the M25 and Beaconsfield on the M40, have plugged the gap but Pease Pottage is still quite isolated.
When Fortes developed the services privately, they had hoped they would be given signs on the motorway. The Department of Transport argued there was no need for services on the M23, but following an outcry from the otherwise genteel Forte they eventually offered to put some signs up as a temporary measure.
There was a sign on the M23 southbound which provided the distance to Pease Pottage, but under the name 'Moto GU221'. In 2005 the Highways Agency said they didn't know why it was like that, and covered it up. Maybe it was added by someone as a joke, referring to the Italian motorcycle manufacturer Moto Guzzi?
| none on M23|
Clacket Lane (M25 east, 22 miles)
Cobham (M25 west, 30 miles)
|Services on the M23||
road becomes A23|
Handcross (A23 southbound, 3 miles)
Hickstead (8 miles)
| none on M23|
Thurrock (M25 east, 43 miles)
Medway (M2 east, 51 miles)
Heston (M4 east, 49 miles)
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