More of a courtyard than a service area, and technically only a truckstop but it caters for cars too. It's located at the M6/M56 interchange and used to have an independent appeal; it's now considered to be in-line with other Moto services.
Catering: Costa Coffee, Greggs, McDonald's Drive Thru, West Cornwall Pasty Co., Costa Express, f'real Milkshakes, Krispy Kreme, Tango Ice Blast Shops: Barber Shop, M&S Simply Food, The CB Shack Trucking Shop, WHSmith Amenities: Warrington M6 Motel, Changing Places, Lucky Coin, Revolution Laundry, Showers, Truck Wash Outdoor Space: Grass verge by hotel Charging Points: GRIDSERVE Electric Highway 50kW CCS & 50kW CHAdeMO; NomadPower 22kW CEE 5 Pin Forecourt: BP, Shop, Costa Express
First 2 hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £16 and HGVs, caravans and motorhomes £22. HGVs can pay £25 to include a £10 food voucher. Trailer changeovers have a charge of £3 for 24 hours.
Prices are paid in the shop. 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.
Trivia and Design
There are a series of breakdown units located within the service area. The coach parking area was used as a late-night interchange by Eurolines.
The complicated motorway arrangement here means stopping here while driving west along the M56 will add more than two miles to your journey. In practice most of that detour is on a motorway, so not as bad as it sounds.
There was a truckstop to the north of Cliff Lane, dating back to the 1950s, known as Poplars Truckstop. It was managed by Poplar hauliers and had a large parking area with many garage and shed buildings.
Poplars was taken over by new owners in 1983, who had a number of issues working with such an old facility, including that it was too small, and its tight entrance was frequently causing queues on the A50.
The new owners proposed moving the truckstop to its present site, south of Cliff Lane, in 1987. The move was approved despite opposition from the A50 Pressure Group.
The new Lymm truckstop building had a separate door for each facility, with those facilities joining up to create a doughnut-shaped building. There was a conference room on the north side, café on the east side, toilets on the south side and a shop on the west side. An advert from its opening described a 32 acre site with facilities including four restaurants and a cinema (though this would have been a 'film room' rather than a full on commercial cinema).
The site was acquired by Compass Group. When Compass merged with Granada, Poplar 2000 was placed in the Compass Roadside division, which meant when the two were split it came to be owned by Moto. Moto continued to use the Poplar 2000 name, but began introducing some of their partners too. Their intention had always been to use it as an overflow site for Knutsford.
Granada reached a formal agreement with the Highways Agency in August 2000, aiming to encourage lorries which had been stopping at Knutsford to use Lymm instead. Knutsford only has 27 spaces for lorries whereas Lymm has 600.
As early as May 2001, Moto looked at adding a Scoop and Ladbrokes to the main building, as well as a larger restaurant. This didn't happen, but other partners such as Costa and WHSmith were introduced, replacing the old Poplar-branded facilities. The entry barriers stopped being used, which increased car traffic but led to an increase in crime.
There had been reports that Moto were going to keep the Poplar name and apply it to Barton Park, but by the 2010s it could only be found on road signs, and by 2015 it had been totally removed.
Even so, Moto wanted to invest in this site and opened Britain's first service station Greggs, and the first Greggs franchise, here in early 2012. This was followed by a M&S Simply Food store on 19 March 2015. Lucky Coin and Fifth Wheel Bar & Grill also officially opened here on 25 March. A temporary unbranded restaurant and bar had been in operation whilst the new facilities were installed.
The Travelodge hotel closed in late 2013 and was sold on to Ibis Budget who reopened the hotel in May 2014. It later rebranded to an independent hotel, the Warrington M6 Motel, in mid 2023.
The site of the old truckstop became Poplar Park. In November 2019, Lymm Truck Wash moved from the main service station to the site of the old truckstop. The new Poplar Park claims to be the largest HGV wash in Europe.
Moto submitted a planning application to build a drive thru KFC in the western corner of the car park in 2021, but the plan was refused due to complaints from local councils.
Further planning proposals were raised in November 2022, which seek to formally reclassify Lymm as a motorway service area for the M56 only. Details are yet to be confirmed, but the amenity building is likely to be extended and refurbished, with nearly 300 new car parking spaces provided at the back. The HGV parking would then expand into a neighbouring field, making up for the missing spaces while providing 60 more.
Despite this, the road signs were changed in 2023 to officially designate Lymm a motorway truckstop. It was the first place in the country to make use of the new truckstop sign with six brand logos. The national highways authority does not accept that Lymm could be a motorway service area on one road and a truckstop on the other, and has further concerns with Moto breaking the August 2000 agreement with Knutsford.
Removal of the Bar & Grill
Amid all this confusion about who Lymm is for, the Bar & Grill restaurant closed in November 2023. It was replaced with a West Cornwall Pasty Company store on 19 December, with the rest of the space due to be turned into a KFC in 2024.
This decision has proven unpopular with HGV drivers, who preferred the unusual sit-down restaurant to the provision of the same car-focus brands that are found across the country.
|Knutsford (6 miles)
|Services on the M6
|Charnock Richard (22 miles)
Burtonwood (M62 west, 10 miles)
Birch (M62 east, 23 miles)
Rising Bridge (A56 north, 35 miles)
|Birch (M62 east, 35 miles)
|Services on the M56
|Chester (14 miles)
|Knutsford (6 miles)
|Birch (M62 east, 23 miles)
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