Cardiff West services
(Gwasanaethau Gorllewin Caerdydd)
M4 at J33
(also accessible to traffic on the A4232)
Signposted from the road? Yes (as Greggs/Burger King/Costa)
map and directions
Single site located at a junction.
Even as far as motorway services go, Welsh services seem to be much of a muchness. It is sadly very difficult to write something about Cardiff West.
Catering: Burger King, Costa Coffee, Greggs, Costa Express, Krispy Kreme Shops: WHSmith Amenities: Travelodge, Full Hou$e, Showers Outdoor Space: Grass area behind hotel; Children's Play Area Charging Points: GRIDSERVE Electric Highway 50kW CCS, 50kW CHAdeMO & 22kW Type 2 Forecourt: BP, SPAR, Subway, Chicago Town Pizza, Costa Express, Tango Ice Blast, West Cornwall Pasty Co., Free Cash Machine
First 2 hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £15 and HGVs, caravans and motorhomes £24. HGVs can pay £27 to include a £10 food voucher.
Prices are paid using PayByPhone. The location code is 2431.
The fees are strictly enforced by CP Plus.
Parking in the forecourt is limited to 45 minutes with the maximum stay being strictly enforced.
This information is provided to us by third parties. You should always check with staff on site.
Cardiff West Motorway Services Area
- 📞 Telephone number: 029 2089 1141
- 🗺 Grid reference: ST093796
- 📌 what3words: ///trying.butter.retail
🌍 Operators & Official Websites:
Trivia and History
A plaque on the amenity building marking the official opening ceremony in 1990.
A recent upgrade to the westbound side of the junction saw two dedicated lanes provided for the service area - this is more than any other service area gets, despite Cardiff West being one of the quieter ones. Unfortunately, the exit from the roundabout only has one lane, making the additional lane pointless and slightly dangerous.
At the entrance is an unusual sign with symbols on it, like at Severn View.
See also: M4 Planning Applications
Welsh motorways aren't covered by England's Department for Transport, which means the planning system for service area was virtually a free-for-all. The effect of this appears to have been that competition around the Swansea area was much more intense, while closer to Cardiff there seemed to be less interest.
It's more likely that the local authorities here were more hostile to proposed services. In 1981 there were plans to build a service area in the south-east quadrant of the junction here, but this was dropped and the northern option, first proposed by A. Monk & Co. Dev. Ltd, soon prevailed.
Cardiff West was eventually built by Rank, as one of their last projects, and its building is very simple by their standards. The site was officially opened on 20 April 1990 by the Minister of State for Wales, Wyn Roberts, following a £25.9m investment. It was one of a number of new developments from Rank, after a quiet period during the 1980s.
Rank gave Cardiff West its own logo with a drawing of a dragon above its name, and the strap-line, "smiles better at Cardiff West".
The site opened with an integrated Top Rank Motor Lodge, so its reception area was combined with the main entrance. In the opposite corner was the dining area, but this has now been broken up into different units. There was also a Yorkie's Transport Diner by the HGV entrance, which is now boarded up.
The amenity building is built on a slight slope, with parking areas at each end. Disabled access is provided through a dedicated doorway and totally separate parking area.
Greggs opened here on 7 March 2013. At the time of opening, this Greggs outlet was unusual compared to others as it is accessed from within the main restaurant area. Even so, it sells takeaway food and for tax reasons that food can't be consumed in the seating area.
The former restaurant servery has been partitioned off, with catering now provided by Greggs and Costa.
The Costa Coffee store was refurbished in December 2022, removing a lot of the former seating area's original features.
The service area was built as a partnership between Top Rank and Esso, so the two buildings have always been operated separately.
Esso redeveloped the forecourt in 2008, with the new forecourt becoming home to one of their On the Run cafés and offering Costa Coffee.
The forecourt was later sold to Rontec in 2013 who added their own-brand Shop'N Drive store to the site and replaced the On the Run café with a Subway store. The Shop'N Drive store later rebranded to SPAR in early 2018, before Rontec rebranded the site to BP in late 2018.
Rontec are seeking to build five electric vehicle charging points here.
Old Survey Results
In 2006, Cardiff West was rated as 3 out of 5 by Holiday Which? and they received a four star loo award.
The services were inspected by The AA on 24 and 25 March 2007. These are their results:
|Road safety and parking:||Good|
|Access and indoor facilities:||Acceptable|
The services were said to be well signed and have good facilities, but they were let down by the prices and variety of food on offer. The baby changing room was described as "a potential health hazard".
Cardiff West was also inspected by The AA on 4 and 5 April 2004. These are their results:
|Road safety and parking:||Acceptable|
|Access and indoor facilities:||Very Poor|
In this report, the services were noted for their indoor facilities and cleanliness, but the variety and quality of food was said to be a real let-down.
In 1991, a Which? survey rated the services as "average".
|Cardiff Gate (8 miles)||Services on the M4||Sarn Park (12 miles)|
|Leigh Delamere (54 miles)|
Severn View (M48, 33 miles)
|Moto services||Swansea West (35 miles)|
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