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Selby Fork services

Selby Fork
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Road:A1 southbound at Selby Fork
Address:Selby Fork
South Milford
West Yorkshire
LS25 5LF
Services type:Single site located between junctions on one side of the road

Selby Fork was the name of a Happy Eater and a motel positioned on the old A1 southbound at Ledsham, close to J42 of the new A1(M).

First Upgrade

See also: A1(M) Planning Applications

In 1996 the Happy Eater at Selby Fork was converted to its sister brand, Little Chef. The site had an entrance from the A1 southbound and a two-way exit leading to Holy Rood Lane and the Selby Fork Roundabout.

Aware that there were plans to replace this section of the A1 with a motorway, in March 1996 Forte/Welcome Break applied to replace the existing facilities with a new motorway service area, which would have been ready to serve the new A1(M). The proposal was dragged out and eventually withdrawn.

The developer is interesting. At the time, Little Chef, Welcome Break and Travelodge - a Travelodge was mentioned in the plans - were all sister companies, all recently acquired by Granada. The application did not mention Granada, and may have been started before the acquisition. Welcome Break was soon sold, so the proposal may have been retained by Granada.

The motorway opened in 2006 and the Little Chef was closed around this time. It is now used by Atkinsons Fencing and Outdoor Living. The Selby Fork Motel became Quality Hotels, then South Milford Hotel and now Yorkshire Gateway Hotel.

Roadchef Plan

Selby Fork site layout.
The planned road and site layout.

In April 2019, Roadchef proposed two new services for the A1(M), here at Selby and at Catterick.

The new service area would be built in the field east of the old services, joining the roundabout at A1(M) J42. When arguing for the services, Roadchef suggest that there is a shortage of services in the region, especially when considering the low quality of the facilities available.

The service area is expected to have an amenity building, forecourt and a drive thru Costa. The forecourt and amenity building would have a grass roof, and water would drain into a fountain at the front. 345 car parking spaces would be provided. An arch would be erected across the front.

The proposal gives us some indication of what it looks like when a motorway service area is designed under the current regulations (which were updated in 2013). It is understood that Roadchef will be obliged to charge staff to park at the site, to satisfy a planning concern about traffic being generated.

The proposal was considered by Selby District Council, who recommended it for approval. The new North Yorkshire Council agreed in March 2024 that the project should be taken forward, following a number of debates about whether this was an appropriate use of green belt land. It now falls on the Secretary of State for Levelling Up (now Angela Rayner) to rule on whether the development can be justified: some have warned that this is unlikely to pass.

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