Motorway Services Online

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Services which have burnt down

Cherwell Valley after the fire.jpg
Cherwell Valley after it was burnt down.

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Below is a list of motorway service areas which have been wholly or partially damaged by a fire. A major service area being damaged by a fire tends to be a big news event, and as a result many people get the impression that it's a common event.

Service areas are susceptible to fire damage: they have a lot of equipment crammed into old buildings that have been moved around many times, they are in use for long hours and they are often in isolated locations that take a long time to reach. It is noticeable that new or extended buildings tend to be more fire resistant.

As news reporting has improved and more service areas have opened, there is an illusion that the rate of fires has improved - we can only list known fires.

A number of A-road petrol stations, independent diners and chain restaurants such as Little Chef have also suffered fire damage. These aren't listing here.

Services Date Cause Disruption
Fleet southbound 14/12/2016 Accidental - faulty coffee machine - KFC Full reconstruction required, despite initial temporary re-opening. Temporary building used, full HGV and coach ban enforced; brief motorway closure required.
Frankley northbound 28/11/2015 Not publicised - restaurant Both directions evacuated. Further details not known.
Cobham 17/04/2015 Accidental - KFC Complete closure of the main amenities building for three days, some units closed for four months.
Birch eastbound 04/11/2011 Accidental - Fonebitz Temporary entrance used, hotel evacuated.
Bolton West southbound 23/07/2010 Accidental - BP No fuel for several days.
Cherwell Valley 15/04/2010 Accidental - store room Full reconstruction required, two temporary buildings used until 2011.
Cherwell Valley 28/11/2008 Accidental - Travelodge Hotel closed for several days.
Sedgemoor northbound 07/03/2008 Accidental - Burger King None.
Sarn Park 06/03/2007 Accidental - cigarette - temporary building Temporary building needed replacing.
Chester August 2004 Accidental - kitchen Building closed for the day.
Birch westbound 09/10/2003 Arson - games room Full reconstruction required, temporary buildings used until late 2004.
Oxford 15/08/1998 Arson - toilets None.
South Mimms 13/08/1998 Accidental - Julie's Pantry Full reconstruction required, temporary buildings used.
Taunton Deane northbound 12/01/1994 Suspected arson - shop/restaurant Temporary facilities used whilst repairs were made.
Membury westbound 25/09/1990 Accidental - electrical fault Repairs were needed but postponed due to plans to widen the M4.
Newport Pagnell southbound Autumn 1987 Unknown It interrupted the CEEFAX Trial, suggesting the building was closed for several months.
Keele northbound 27/08/1984 Kitchen - on bridge Whole bridge-building had to be rebuilt.
Heston westbound 28/05/1981 Accidental - electrical fault on roof Full reconstruction required.
Leigh Delamere ??