It's very rare for Britain's motorways to offer a small facility in one direction only, but that's exactly what Burton does.
Catering: Burger King, Costa Coffee, Greggs, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme Shops: M&S Simply Food, WHSmith Amenities: Travelodge, Full Hou$e, Showers Outdoor Space: Grass area around hotel Charging Points: GRIDSERVE Electric Highway HPC 350kW CCS, 100kW CHAdeMO & 22kW Type2 Forecourt: BP, Shop, Costa Express, Rollover, Air1 AdBlue
First 2 hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £15 and HGVs, caravans and motorhomes £22. HGVs can pay £25 to include a £10 food voucher.
Prices are paid using PayByPhone. The location code is 2430.
The fees are strictly enforced by CP Plus.
This information is provided to us by third parties. You should always check with staff on site.
Burton Motorway Services Area
- 📞 Telephone number: 01524 781234
- 🗺 Grid reference: SD521761
- 📌 what3words: ///ideal.awakening.parties
🌍 Operators & Official Websites:
Trivia and History
The service area opened on 23 October 1970, operated by Mobil and named Burton West. The "west" appeared to stem from the fact only the western half was built, rather than being west of Burton.
In 1978, a partnering Burton East services was considered, but cancelled due to low traffic levels. Extra applied to build a southbound service area opposite the existing one in 1996, but their plans were refused as there were now enough service areas nearby.
An electric vehicle charging hub opened here in March 2022 adding 5 high-powered 350kW chargers to the existing two chargers.
See also: M6 Service Area Planning
The location of the service area had been chosen by the Ministry to catch Lakeland traffic. The idea was having it on one side of the road only reduced the environmental damage, and encouraged bids from operators who might not want to invest in two buildings.
Custom was expected to be very low, so only a £30,000 investment was requested and a very short lease was offered.
Bids to run the service area came from Mobil, Shell and a company called Alpine who made a promising bid.
Mobil made an excessively prestigious bid to allow them to break in to the market. The Ministry felt that a forecourt operator would do the best job because traffic levels on this section of the M6 were expected to be low, so initially only a forecourt would be required. The winning bidder could then decide when and who would build the main facilities.
When Mobil's first building opened, it was described as "disappointing and unimaginative" by inspectors, who were disappointed that the building didn't take advantage of the views. It had only a tiny amenity building, a fuelling area with 12 distinctive circle-shaped segments, and a small parking area with only a handful of spaces for long vehicles, next to the cars.
In 1972 and again in 1977 Egon Ronay rated the services as "appalling", calling it "drab and simply furnished".
When the site reached full capacity, Mobil allowed Granada to build a full catering building, and the two ran the service area together. They settled on a simple design which offered fuel and service facilities from either ends of the same building. That design had separate doors for the toilets and for the restaurant.
A new forecourt shop was built, allowing the main facilities to take over the rest of the old shop, which was extended a few times. The parking areas were expanded significantly, and a hotel was built. An official count in 1983 reported that Burton West could accommodate 20 HGVs, the lowest capacity for any motorway service area in England.
The British Tea Council chose Burton West as the site of Britain's best motorway tea in 1989. The management put this down to them using local Lake District water.
Granada announced in June 1996 that they had permission to change Burton West's name to Burton-in-Kendal. They were hoping that more generic names would be more memorable, easier to advertise and deter rivals from opening nearby. This was one of the only name changes that stuck.
In more recent times, Moto have tried to encourage customers to use both the toilets and the restaurant by building a glass cage around the front, creating a walkway rather than separate entrances.
|Lancaster (16 miles)|
Carnforth truckstop (5 miles)
|Services on the M6||Tebay (21 miles)|
|Lancaster (16 miles)||Moto services||Southwaite (27 miles)|
We launched a new system to display public feedback in December 2021. It will take time for new comments to appear. Users will need to register with CommentBox to leave reviews, and you can do so quickly below:
Views expressed in these comments are those of the individual contributor. User accounts are managed by CommentBox.io.
We ask the companies named to check here regularly but we can't force them to do so.