Swansea West services
(Gwasanaethau Gorllewin Abertawe)
Like many M4 services, Swansea's low footfall is reflected in its lack of refurbishment. There is a McDonald's and Forestry Commission site which aren't part of the main services but are located down the same road.
COVID-19 update: These details were updated on 11 July 2020, with changes caused by COVID-19.
First 2 hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £15 and HGVs, caravans and motorhomes £23. HGVs can pay £25 to include a £10 food voucher.
Prices are paid using PayByPhone - more details. The location code is 2465.
The fees are strictly enforced by CP Plus.
M O T O
Swansea West Services
M4 Junction 47
Trivia and History
At the time Swansea West opened, the M4 in Wales continued to be one of very few motorways where any company could plan a new service area. Rank's business strategy here appears to have been very simple: slot in next to two rival businesses and get a piece of the action.
In reality, there turned out to be too many services for the traffic levels, and even today when most services have seen a dramatic increase in custom, Swansea West hasn't really felt it.
The main building is now only open 5.30am-10pm. After this, customers are directed to the petrol station. The toilets still soldier on with old fixtures that Moto have replaced in all of their other services.
Even the car park turned out to be larger than needed, and Moto weren't sure what to do with it. They considered using the end of it as a car sales area, but eventually decided to designate this section 'long stay' for commuter traffic.
A 1990s list of facilities says the services offer "trained staff", but with no clue as to what that means.
The McDonald's next door opened in 1999. Granada immediately complained that it had an impact on their restaurant. They considered closing their Burger King as a result, but eventually accepted their Burger King would be better than nothing.
The square amenity building has only one main entrance, which used to have a covered canopy pointing to the car park. This was a small reminder of Rank's love for elaborate architecture, even at what was supposed to be a low-budget site. There is then a large building with lots of facilities shoehorned tightly into it.
The Travelodge here is accessed from inside the main amenity building.
Signs and Name
Moto publicly refer to the services by the name Swansea, however the signs on the motorway (which haven't been replaced since it opened) still call it Swansea West. Coupled with the Welsh translation Gwasanaethau Gorllewin Abertawe, this creates quite a lengthy sign.
In 2015, the 'Costa' logo on the eastbound sign fell down to reveal part of the former Rank logo, which was fitted to the original sign. This was covered up in early 2018.
A large "Moto this way" sign has been placed on the access road to distract attention from the 24-hour McDonald's which is accessed from the same exit.
|Sarn Park (25 miles)||Services on the M4||Pont Abraham (6 miles)|
|Cardiff West (37 miles)||Moto services||none|
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