The regulations make it much easier to build a service area on an A-road than on a motorway, especially historically. This means that A-roads tend to attract operators who are experienced in developing and running much smaller sites, often pushing their brand partners more than their own name.
This, plus the fact that road signs on A-roads don't allow service areas to advertise their facilities, means that the operators of A-road service areas tend not to be as well-known as the operators of the motorway sites, even though some of the A-road operators have more sites overall.
This page summarises the most prominent operators of A-road service areas. Most of these are actually forecourt operators, who started out building and running forecourts across the UK, some of which just happened to be at A-road service areas. Other facilities on the site may be run by them, or leased to somebody else.
Increasingly, those forecourt operators are trying to move away from fuel sales, by developing more stand-alone drive thru restaurants and electric vehicle charging facilities. Some of those developments are also taking place at A-road service areas. Confusingly, this means that you often find two A-road operators standing by each other at the same site.
See also: BP
BP actively develop some, but not all, of the service areas that use their brand. These are Corporate Sites that trade under the name 'BP Connect' (previously 'BP Express'). They are increasingly scaling back on this operation.
The Co-operative Group
- Bobbing Corner (A249)
- Cirencester (A417)
- Evesham (A46)
- Galley's Corner (A120)
- Minster (A299)
- Moor Farm (A19)
- Polegate (A27)
- Solstice (A303)
- West Wellow (A36)
- Willowtree (A1)
See also: EG Group
The colossal EG Group business started out developing individual forecourts, including whole service areas like Monmouth. They now run food and fuel facilities all around the world.
Exelby Services Ltd are an operator of a group of services spread across north of England, generally larger sites aimed at the HGV trade, but providing facilities for all road users. One of the largest suppliers of bunkered fuel in the UK. They generally trade with Shell fuel forecourts.
See also: MFG
MFG is a fast-growing forecourt developer, now increasingly focusing on their EV Power charging brand.
See also: Rontec
Rontec was formed in 2011 to take over the assets of TCS which were being sold by owner Total. It is a combination of a number of investors including independent forecourt operator Snax 24.
BP launched BP Truckstops in the 1980s, providing a wide range of truckstop facilities to allow them to capitalise on the fuel sales. They sold these to Nightowl in 2002 when fuel profits fell. Nightowl struggled with the large network and scaled back. It is now owned by Stobart Group.
- Carlisle Truckstop (A689, in an industrial estate near M6)
- Rugby Truckstop (A5, advertised as being off the M1)
- Alconbury (A1(M)/A14)
- Barton Park - sold to Moto
- Penrith (M6/A66)
- South Mimms (M25/A1(M)/A1)
- Washington (A1(M)) - not Washington services
- Wolverhampton (M54) - was signposted from the motorway
BP also owned several truckstops in mainland Europe.
See also: MFG
The name for Murco's former filling station sites who operated a number of self branded sites. Costcutter branding was used for their stores. All of these sites are now operated by MFG and are operated under BP, Esso, Jet, Shell and Texaco fuel brands.
See also: Rontec
Snax 24 was a company owned by Gerald Ronson which ran 43 petrol forecourts and service areas across the UK. The Snax 24 name could also be used as, and started as the a company in retail shop associated with their forecourts, but in the end their sites were more commonly associated with a Mace store. In 2015 Snax 24 merged with Rontec.