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Rivington services


M61 between J6 and J8 (there is no J7)

Signposted from the road.

Post Code:


map and directions


Two sites located between junctions, connected by a pedestrian footbridge.

Rating: See the reviews

A range of facilities sitting on the site of Bolton West, formerly one of the worst-ranked services around.


Catering: Burger King, Greggs, Starbucks, Subway, Starbucks on the Go, Krispy Kreme (northbound only) Shops: Spar Main Amenities: Children's Play Area, Dog Walking Area, Ecotricity electric vehicle charging point, Free cash machine, Jackpot Lounge, Multi Faith Room Motel: Rivington Lodgewebsite Forecourt: BP, AdBlue4You

Parking Prices[edit]

First two hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £8 and HGVs £14.99, or £19.99 to include a food voucher.

Prices are paid in the pay machines situated in each car park or Spar shop.

The fees are strictly enforced.

Contact Details[edit]

Euro Garages
Anderton Motorway Services Area

  • Telephone number: 01204 669962 (northbound)
    01204 460482 (southbound)
  • Grid reference: SD621116

Trivia and History[edit]

Bolton West First sign.jpg
The old, dilapidated building.

Camera icon

Northbound opened by Kenning Motor Group 1971
Southbound opened 1970s
Re-named from Anderton 1990s
Sold to Top Rank? 1990s
Sold to Pavilion 1992
Sold to First by Granada 1996
Re-named from Rivington 1990s
Sold to Euro Garages 2011
Re-built and renamed from Bolton West 2011

The contract to build the service was won by BP, who until recently leased the main facilities out to First. Euro Garages (who, at the time, specialised in taking over unpopular petrol stations) took over the petrol station and then took over the whole site.

In Spring 2017, Transport Focus calculated a 100% satisfaction score for the northbound services and 95% for the southbound services. This meant the northbound side was one of the country's top two.

The services were then completely rebuilt and reverted to its previous name, with the new southbound side opening on 27 May 2011. The Subway outlet here is Halal and is open 24 hours. The toilet facilities are placed in the Spar store with no signage within the rest of the service area.

The services have two bridge crossings: one footbridge and one driving bridge, neither of which serve as a Rear Access (except as a public footpath).

As Anderton[edit]

The services went out to tender in 1967, requesting at least £200,000 be invested, and it was opened in phases. Kenning Motor Group made the only offer to build it and it was initially rejected.

Planners were expected to take advantage of the views over Rivington and Winter Hill - it is an open and exposed site allowing for a large complex. It had a single-storey low-level design, to minimise the impact on the valley it is built in.

A 1974 Ordnance Survey map shows the services with only a northbound amenity building, suggesting southbound visitors had to walk across the footbridge. This is the only evidence to suggest the northbound building was the older one of the two found so far.

Inside, the large building began with a foyer area with tables, and a game arcade was added on the right. There was a shop on the left and, on the northbound side, a corridor to the Travelodge reception. Straight ahead was the restaurant servery, refreshment bar and a corridor to the toilets was on the right. The rest of the building contained the kitchen.

The original restaurant had large windows and an orange and brown décor, with long rows of benches for seats. It was open 07:00 until 22:00.

Kenning Motor Group were leased the services by BP, and sold it to Pavilion.

As Bolton West[edit]

The old services were, quite simply, appalling. By the end of its life there was little care for any aspect of it, and its rating on this site was an average of 1.1 out of 5.

Granada wanted to take over Pavilion were told they couldn't own Bolton West and nearby Birch. A Granada management buyout saw Bolton West pass to First. With its large building and low traffic levels, it wasn't a great site to inherit.

On the 23rd July 2010 there was a fire at the garage on the southbound services which meant there was no fuel available for a period, and further facilities had to be provided by portacabins.

As Bolton West its main claim to fame is that it starred in Peter Kay's pilot episode for his sketch show 'That Peter Kay Thing' in the early 2000s. The show was a 22-minute mockumentary titled 'At the Services' which took a look at a typical day at Bolton West, including manager Pearl Harbour's quest to impress a celebrity. It's clsimed they filmed here because they were the only services to let him, but it seems to be quite a coincidence that most of Peter Kay's films are made in or around the Bolton area. This was revisited in 2016.

Former Reviews[edit]

In 2000 the services were rated by The AA, who graded it as 'very poor', criticising poor signposting, a lack of outdoor facilities and unclean toilets. Woolley Edge fared even worse.

In 1986, Which? Magazine rated the services as "average", saying they felt they had walked "into a time warp", with its "drab colours".

In 1977, Egon Ronay rated the services as "poor". It was "cheerful and bright", and "the atmosphere was pleasant even if the food was not". He wasn't impressed by the use of convenience foods.


none on M61
Birch (M62 east, 13 miles)
Services on the M61 none on M61
Lancaster (M6 north, 27 miles)
Blackburn with Darwen (M65, 15 miles)
Tickled Trout (M6 north, 13 miles)

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