Have lunch in Sandwich, with an official service area just beyond the town's bypass.
Short stay customer parking is available at both facilities for cars. No HGV access is permitted.
This information is provided to us by third parties. You should always check with staff on site.
Esso Service Station
🌍 Operators & Official Websites:
Trivia and History
There is a forecourt on either side of the dual carriageway, but only the northbound side is treated as an official service area. The two nearby roundabouts make it easy to swap between the two.
This service area was first proposed in 1987, by Kent County Council's Property Supplies & Services Group. At the time, the A256 was a single carriageway road running through the industrial landscape at Port Richborough. The road already had a Texaco forecourt - confusingly also called 'Richborough service station' - on the southbound side, but the road was about to be straightened to remove the 'Weatherlees Bend', which would leave the council with some redundant land on the northbound side between the old road and the new.
The proposal was pursued by Heron, who wanted to build a small forecourt with an 80-seat restaurant positioned to the south. The forecourt opened in around 1992 under Elf branding. This later became Total.
Further plans were put forward to develop the restaurant in 2007. This eventually opened in late 2021 as a drive thru KFC. Unusually, the entrance was provided directly onto the A256, rather than from within the service area itself. Even so, the local authority decided at this point to treat the complex as an official service area. It is very unusual for local authorities to designate new service areas with full signage, but Kent does seem to be particularly keen on them.
Before this happened, the A256 was widened again 2012, this time becoming a dual carriageway. Access to both forecourts was maintained and the new Ebbsfleet Roundabout allowed traffic to turn around.
At the same time as the new KFC opened, more facilities were added to the A256, with EG Group opening a Shell forecourt with restaurants at Discovery Park. Despite its wider range of catering, it was not signposted as a full service area, perhaps because there were no safety concerns about the new exit.
|Jubilee (A2 south, 13 miles)||Services on the A256||Minster (A299 west, 4 miles)|