Ross Spur services
A small service area on the southbound side of the A449, at the end of the M50. After being allowed to decline for years, its new owners knocked it down and brought half of it back.
Catering: Burger King Drive Thru, Starbucks Drive Thru Outdoor Space: Grass verges only; public footpath connections Forecourt: Esso, SPAR, Greggs, Subway, Starbucks on the Go, Tango Ice Blast, Free Cash Machine
First 2 hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £8 for up to 24 hours and HGVs, coaches and commercial vehicles must pay £14.99, or £19.99 to include a meal voucher.
Prices are paid in the shop.
The fees are strictly enforced by Parking Eye.
This information is provided to us by third parties. You should always check with staff on site.
Ross Spur Services Forecourt
Trivia and History
This site is not to be confused with the Premier Inn and Beefeater (Travellers Rest) accessed from the roundabout with the A449 at the end of the M50.
Although it is not regarded as a motorway service area, at some point two unusual road signs were placed on the M50 to help motorists find the services. Another sign on the A40 advised traffic that there is a service area only half a mile off its route, which has now been almost lost in the foliage.
The M50 is named the Ross Spur Motorway, and documentation from the road's construction refers to "the Ross Spur service area". Unfortunately, it's not clear if that's referring to this place, or another one that was planned on the Ross Spur Motorway.
There was a lot of debate about whether the road needed services. Initially it was said to be too short for any services. In 1958 Ministers decided the motorway would offer good views and should have viewpoints or rest areas. This was later turned into a full service area (location not known) but was cancelled due to objections relating to environmental damage, then the services were planned again, then it was decided the road didn't need any services.
No maintenance compound would have been allowed as the area was too scenic. A maintenance compound was developed separately at Bury Court.
Welcome Break legacy
The service area was opened in 1966 as an independently operated pair of petrol stations. In 1985 it was taken over by a joint partnership between BP and Welcome Break, who at the time were still a very small player. They demolished the petrol stations and replaced them with new buildings, and with larger BP petrol stations to the side.
The north-eastbound building was used by Welcome Break's sister company, Happy Eater, while a larger Welcome Break-branded building was provided on the south-westbound side. It had a restaurant, shop and toilets, though the entrance to the toilets was outside. Under Forte's ownership, this building had The Granary and The Shop.
When Welcome Break were owned by Granada, the Happy Eater became a Little Chef in 1996. Immediately afterwards, Welcome Break was sold and forced to close its Little Chefs; the Little Chef became Red Hen. Welcome Break were believed to be negotiating for ownership of the whole site, but this may not have happened.
Welcome Break closed their facilities in 2001, and the land quickly became derelict. The company had only just opened Derby South so was still interested in A-road service areas, but not this one. Council records as late as 2004 still showed Welcome Break as the operator.
Ten years later, Welcome Break's road signs (and even parking prices) could be found all over the south-westbound services. The north-eastbound side had most of its branding removed in 2005, save for a few treats for eagle-eyed enthusiasts. Externally, both the north and south sites had remained virtually unchanged since Welcome Break left them, and they were hardly cutting-edge in those days either. For most of the 2000s, it was a Welcome Break time-lock.
In about 1991, Labels Outlet Shopping setup its outlet centre here at Overross. They complained that they weren't visible enough from the road, and in 2004 they purchased the north-eastbound service station and set about looking at how they could use the land.
Ross Labels reopened the abandoned Red Hen restaurant as French Hen, but this was not successful and closed soon after. It was then demolished and replaced by a new KFC, which opened in 2006. A McDonald's had also been advertised, but wasn't built.
Ross Labels then built a new entrance to their site from the old service station car park, but they described the area as "still feeling unfinished". They were very unhappy when their proposal to develop the empty former petrol station area was refused by the local authority, pointing out that their whole project had been trying to improve the "eyesore" that the area was. This was eventually turned into offices.
EG Group and the southbound side
It is the south-westbound side that had become almost completely derelict, aside from the petrol station which was itself very run-down. It used old corporate styling that BP had hoped to have phased out. The restaurant and toilet symbols on the road sign were temporarily covered up. The main building remained boarded up for more than 10 years.
Euro Garages bought the southbound service area and demolished everything, opening new buildings in 2012. It had been expected that a Burger King restaurant would be included, but a Greggs opened instead, alongside a Subway and a separate Starbucks Drive Thru. Euro Garages described both the planned Burger King and the Starbucks as one of the first of their kind.
The filling station was re-branded from BP to Esso in June 2018.
The Burger King drive-thru finally opened on 4 June 2020, filling the spare land between the Starbucks and the Esso.
|Hartlebury (44 miles)|
Strensham (M5 north, 22 miles)
Gloucester (M5 south, 39 miles)
|Services on the A449||Daff-Y-Nant (westbound, 8 miles)|
Symonds Yat (eastbound, 8 miles)
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