Picket Post services
A smaller service area on the A31 in the New Forest. Although this is a dual-sided service area, there are different facilities on either side of the road and an underpass between the two.
Short stay customer parking is available for cars. No HGV parking is available.
Parking within the McDonald's car park is limited to 90 minutes maximum stay and is strictly enforced by ParkingEye.
This information is provided to us by third parties. You should always check with staff on site.
Trivia and History
Picket Post is the name of the Burley exit on the A31, named after the post which marked it. This attracted a number of facilities such as the Kettle Tea House, but they were all demolished when the A31 was widened in 1969.
The westbound side was home to an old garage which survived the road widening and was joined by a Shell forecourt in the early 1970s. The old garage building is still there but is derelict, and now lost within the undergrowth. The new forecourt would have been accessible to traffic on both sides via the gap in the dual carriageway, but this was closed in the 1980s and replaced by the longer underpass which is used today.
Plans for a redevelopment of the Picket Post forecourt were also submitted in 1990, but this was refused planning permission.
Plans to add additional eastbound facilities were proposed shortly after the road widening. Southern Counties Hotels proposed a hotel on the eastbound side in 1974. A second Shell filling station was built in 1976, which became known as Forest Edge. The newer Forest Edge is larger than the older westbound site and is now open 24 hours.
Southern Counties Hotels continued to renew planning permission for their hotel on the eastbound side throughout the late 1970s and into the 1980s. However in 1985, Lawlor Land Co planned a Happy Eater restaurant to be built on this land, which opened in September 1986 as their 'Picket Post' branch.
Meanwhile, Shell planned to redevelop the Forest Edge forecourt introducing new pumps, canopy and sales building in 1986 too, but which was eventually approved in 1990. Both sites gained Shell's Select store in 1991.
The Happy Eater became a Little Chef with a Coffee Stop coffee lounge in 1996. The Little Chef closed in February 2012 as part of R Capital's closures. A McDonald's opened in the old building in April 2014.
NaPTAN says there is a bus stop south of here called 'Forest services', managing to get the wrong name for the wrong site. It is largely unused.
|Rufus Stone (westbound, 6 miles)|
Rownhams (M27, 15 miles)
|Services on the A31||Ringwood (A31 westbound, 3 miles)|
Kilmington Cross (A35, 65 miles)