Motorway Services Online

Retrieved from "https://motorwayservicesonline.co.uk/Timeline"

Opening Timeline

50 years of Watford Gap.

Below is a list of services organised by when they were opened. If you want to correct a date, go to that services' page, log in and edit it. The current date is usually on the 11th line.

This page tries to list only MSAs, and TRSAs which have been important to the story of the UK road network.

To organise the list by date, tap the arrow next to "opened".

Motorway services in Great Britain

Services Road Opened
Woodall M1 between J30 and J31 1968
Gretna A74(M) between J21 and J22 1972 (TRSA)
1992 (MSA)
Todhills M6 between J44 and J45 1972? (southbound TRSA)
1980s (northbound TRSA)
2008 (rest area)
Carnforth M6 at J35 (A601(M)) 1987?
Abington M74 and A74(M) at J13 1993
Cullompton M5 at J28 1999
Eurotunnel UK Terminal Eurotunnel UK Terminal 2007
(the terminal itself opened in 1994)
Banbury M40 at J11 2019
Sheffield M1 at J35 2019

Other Services

The following services don't fit in to either of the above categories, but the data has been recorded so might as well be shared. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list.

Services Road Opened
Kings Worthy A33 1946
Peartree A34 on the Oxford Ring Road 1964
Lolworth A14 1969
Kentford A14 1970s
Oaktree A1 1973
Newby A65 1974?
Wansford A1 near Wansford 1979
Aberford A1 1980s
Weyhill A303 1980s
Ecton A45 1980s
Guildford A3 near Guildford 1988
Musselburgh A1 near City Bypass 1989
Buckland A420 near Faringdon 1991
Dover Port Within Eastern Docks, Dover 1991?
Broxden M90/A9 Broxden Roundabout 2000
Shefford A507 at Shefford 2001
Templepatrick M2 northbound between J4 and J5 2015

Specific Dates

The following services are the ones we have an exact opening date for.

Note that this is more complicated than you'd think. Most services are opened in stages to get the money coming in before the building is finished. Many have a 'dummy run' where they quietly open so they can iron out any issues. Finally, there's then the official opening date, where the press are invited.

As we search our records, we find these dates have been mixed up. We're only interested in the date the main building opened, and have marked any entries where we think it might be wrong.

Organised by Year

Services Opened
Newport Pagnell phased from 2 November 1959 to August 1960
Watford Gap phased from 2 November 1959 to September 1960
Strensham 20 July 1962
Farthing Corner 29 May 1963
Charnock Richard 29 July 1963
Knutsford, Keele 15 November 1963
Toddington 20 May 1964
Oxford Peartree 29 June 1964
Forton from 29 January 1965
Leicester Forest East 15 February 1966
Frankley 27 July 1966
Aust 9 September 1966
Heston from 21 February 1967
Trowell 23 March 1967
Woodall 1 April 1968
Scratchwood 17 March 1969
Washington 27 August 1970
Burton West 23 October 1970
Hilton Park rumoured 26 October 1970
Anderton / Rivington / Bolton West / whatever rumoured 8 April 1971
Harthill 31 August 1971
Michaelwood 12 December 1971
Corley rumoured 17 January 1972
Leigh Delamere rumoured 14 March 1972
Membury rumoured 15 April 1972
Woolley Edge rumoured 25 April 1972
Killington Lake rumoured 9 May 1972
Tebay West 15 June 1972
Southwaite from 3 July 1972
Rothersthorpe rumoured 24 October 1972
Birch 29 November 1972
Gordano 7 May 1973
Fleet 6 June 1973
Hartshead Moor from 22 May 1973
Burtonwood rumoured 19 August 1974
Hamilton 20 June 1975
Bothwell 27 June 1975
Rownhams 21 June 1976
Exeter rumoured 24 May 1977 (would have been phased opening)
Ferrybridge 2 February 1985
Sedgemoor (South) rumoured 28 April 1986
South Mimms 6 June 1987
Tebay East 3 June 1993
Cherwell Valley 31 March 1994
Durham 23 August 1994
Annandale Water 6 April 1995
Stafford (North) 1 April 1996
Donington Park 8 July 1999
Hopwood Park 2 August 1999
Cullompton 3 September 1999
Cambridge 1 December 2000
Baldock 22 January 2001
Peterborough 15 January 2001
Telford 17 March 2003
Norton Canes 9 March 2004
Folkestone 9 January 2008
Leicester 24 June 2008
Derby with Burton 29 July 2008
Wetherby 23 August 2008
Beaconsfield 17 March 2009
Cobham 13 September 2012
Gloucester (North) 7 May 2014
Gloucester (South) 19 May 2015

Organised by Date

Services Opened
Folkestone 9 January 2008
Peterborough 15 January 2001
Corley rumoured 17 January 1972
Baldock 22 January 2001
Forton from 29 January 1965
Ferrybridge 2 February 1985
Leicester Forest East 15 February 1966
Heston from 21 February 1967
Norton Canes 9 March 2004
Leigh Delamere rumoured 14 March 1972
Scratchwood 17 March 1969
Telford 17 March 2003
Beaconsfield 17 March 2009
Trowell 23 March 1967
Cherwell Valley 31 March 1994
Woodall 1 April 1968
Stafford (North) 1 April 1996
Annandale Water 6 April 1995
Anderton / Rivington / Bolton West / whatever rumoured 8 April 1971
Membury rumoured 15 April 1972
Woolley Edge rumoured 25 April 1972
Sedgemoor (South) rumoured 28 April 1986
Gordano 7 May 1973
Gloucester (North) 7 May 2014
Killington Lake rumoured 9 May 1972
Gloucester (South) 19 May 2015
Toddington 20 May 1964
Hartshead Moor from 22 May 1973
Exeter rumoured 24 May 1977
Farthing Corner 29 May 1963
Tebay East 3 June 1993
Fleet 6 June 1973
South Mimms 6 June 1987
Tebay West 15 June 1972
Hamilton 20 June 1975
Rownhams 21 June 1976
Leicester 24 June 2008
Bothwell 27 June 1975
Oxford Peartree 29 June 1964
Southwaite from 3 July 1972
Donington Park 8 July 1999
Strensham 20 July 1962
Frankley 27 July 1966
Charnock Richard 29 July 1963
Derby with Burton 29 July 2008
Hopwood Park 2 August 1999
Newport Pagnell phased from 2 November 1959 to August 1960
Burtonwood rumoured 19 August 1974
Wetherby 23 August 2008
Durham 23 August 1994
Washington 27 August 1970
Harthill 31 August 1971
Cullompton 3 September 1999
Aust 9 September 1966
Cobham 13 September 2012
Burton West 23 October 1970
Rothersthorpe rumoured 24 October 1972
Hilton Park rumoured 26 October 1970
Watford Gap phased from 2 November 1959 to September 1960
Knutsford, Keele 15 November 1963
Birch 29 November 1972
Cambridge 1 December 2000
Michaelwood 12 December 1971