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ROSS (Motoross)

ROSS (Motoross)
Locations:up to 4
Successors:Welcome Break
Ross logo.
The Ross logo.
Motoross logo.
After the change to Motoross.

This is the former operator. For the small A40/M50 services near Ross-on-Wye, see Ross Spur.

Ross ran some of the older motorway services on the network, most famously Leicester Forest East. They were an arm of a food giant which today still focuses on frozen foods - one of their main features at their services was the Captain's Table Restaurant.

They originally entered the motorway market to advertise their frozen food operations, but as they dropped the quality of their food to stay in the market they re-branded their services as Motoross in 1980.

View Ross' The Motor Grill restaurant menu (June 1977, remastered)

Motoross Struggle

In 1969, having lost the bid for Heston, they described the government's tendering process as "un-buisnesslike", and briefly refused to build any more service areas until the regulations were relaxed. They had been led to believe that the alcohol restrictions on services were about to be lifted, and without this happening the appeal of their wide-ranging restaurants had been limited.

In 1972 they declined an invitation to bid for Hensall, claiming they couldn't afford it. They lost money on Membury after the government delayed the opening date.

Since 1969, the parent company Ross Group were part of the Imperial Group. When Imperial acquired Happy Eater they also gained the rights to the redundant Welcome Break name, which hadn't been used since at least 1979. They created a new version of Welcome Break, which was used to replace all Motoross services in 1983 - the idea being that Welcome Break could potentially be used away from motorways too.

In the years which followed Welcome Break received a lot of praise from critics, and this was largely down to Ross's good design and maintenance.

Two years later, following another takeover, Welcome Break was sold on to Trusthouse Forte and the Ross Group were sold to United Biscuits, who they had been looking at merging with for a while.


The following services were owned by Ross:

The following services were planned by Ross but they were never built: