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.
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
The service area opened on 9 August 1991. At the time, the Welsh M4 was one of very few motorways where any company could plan a new service area. Rank were looking to slot in beside two of their rivals to get a bit more market share.
Within four months of Swansea services opening, Rank revealed that they were in financial difficulty and sold all of their sites, including Swansea. Building Swansea may have been a last-ditch effort to get some more cash coming in or it may have been an effort to increase the value of the business knowing a sale was on the horizon.
As a consequence of this history, Swansea has a small market share of what is already a quiet motorway. It hasn't seen the dramatic increase in custom that most other motorway service areas have experienced and this has caused it to miss out on some refurbishment schemes, and to still feature old fixtures and furniture.
Further harm was caused in 1999, when the McDonald's opened next door. 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 main building is now only open from 5.30am until 10pm. After this, customers are directed to the petrol station.
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.
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.
When it opened there was a Yorkie's transport diner.
The Travelodge here is accessed from inside the main amenity building.
In 1995, there was a plan for a drive thru fast food restaurant here.
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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