Kingdom services, its name referring to the Kingdom of Fife, is still signposted from the Crossgates Roundabout. That's despite the site having been turned into an ordinary industrial estate. More interestingly, it once dreamed of being a proper service area.
The little A907 between Halbeath and Crossgates gained a new lease of life in 1985, when it was replaced by the new A92. The plan had always been to complete the job with the new junction on the M90, and this happened in 1998, creating a triangle of land that was marooned by major roads in all directions.
Running through that triangle was the original A907, and it was inevitable that this would be developed for industrial purposes. Front and centre of that vision was the plan for 'Kingdom services', put through in 1998.
It consisted of a single building with the petrol forecourt on one side and service station on the other, very similar to the likes of Derby & Buton and Leicester today. This wasn't the first time a service station has been built in a major road island either, as the nearby Stirling services demonstrates.
As Kinross services had already opened on the M90, it was decided that the new Kingdom would not qualify for signage on the motorway. This decision created a fuss and made it to the national press, but the authorities stood by their position.
It was agreed that the service area could still be signed from the A92, but this would only cover one of the main approaches. Large adverts were placed at the back of the forecourt which backed on to the slip road leaving the M90, but this information was no good to motorists who would have already missed the exit for the service areas.
This incarnation of Kingdom closed in the early 2000s, as it was too difficult to access and had been used mainly as a parking area by HGV drivers who knew all the roads.
Return of Kingdom
For a short while the service area did open again, but in the form of Peggy Sue's American Diner. This was marketed more at local visitors who were less worried about the detour from the motorway, but it closed in 2004.
In 2006 Shell decided that it must be third time lucky, and that they could make Kingdom work. They reopened the petrol station and replaced the advert backing on to the slip road with their own. The new filling station also had a Nisa Local, and Shell had a new idea to make things work.
The half of the building which had previously acted as the service station was this time opened as the Kingdom of Fun, a children's activity centre. The new Kingdom was separated from the filling station, creating two distinctively different facilities under one roof. Both were advertised from the Crossgates Roundabout.
Packing It In
The Shell station didn't last so long, and closed in 2008. It opened as an independent "Kingdom Services" branded site, still with the soft play area attached. This soldiered on for another five years, until finally in 2013 it closed and the whole area was demolished. Meanwhile, the rest of the road has been developed into a busy industrial estate, and lorries continue to take breaks here.
As of 2020, the site of the services is now a depot for Fife Council. It is still signed from the roundabout, but no further trace of the service area exists.