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Thanet Way and Lychgate services


A299 Thanet Way at Waterham

Signposted from the road.


ME13 9EL

map and directions


Two sites located between junctions, with no public connection between them.

A collection of facilities attracted to the Highstreet junction on Thanet Way.


Catering: westbound only: Costa Coffee, Subway
and eastbound only: Starbucks
Amenities: Travelodge (eastbound only) Outdoor Space: on both sides: public footpath connections
plus westbound only: Tiny grass verge only
and eastbound only: Grass area on immediate left as you drive in
Charging Points: eastbound only: MFG EV Power 150kW CCS & 50kW CHAdeMO Forecourt: westbound only: Shell, Select, Deli by Shell, Costa Express
and eastbound only: BP, Budgens, Greggs, Costa Express, Dunkin' Donuts, f'real Milkshakes, Hershey's Freeze, Reese's Freeze, Rollover, Tango Ice Blast, Jet Wash, Free Cash Machine

Parking Prices

Short stay customer parking is available for cars at all facilities. No HGV parking is available.

Parking within the Costa and Subway shared car park is limited to 90 minutes maximum stay and is strictly enforced by Civil Enforcement Ltd whilst parking on the bp forecourt is limited to 30 minutes maximum stay and is strictly enforced.

This information is provided to us by third parties. You should always check with staff on site.

Contact Details

🏱 Address:
Lychgate Service Station
Thanet Way
ME13 9EL

Trivia and History

Subway and Costa signs on top of a building.
The former westbound Little Chef now hosts a pair of familiar brands.

As it was the main road to the coast, Thanet Way was an obvious place to build facilities. The westbound petrol station (known as Lychgate) was built in the 1930s, while the eastbound side was built in the 1970s. At the time the road was still single carriageway; the two forecourts were almost opposite each other, with plenty of space for expansion.

The eastbound forecourt had closed by 1978, and was seized upon by Happy Eater to open a restaurant in summer 1981. A new forecourt was built immediately west of this. The car park continued around the restaurant, with space for a snack bar to operate. A sign says that this extra space is for a dog walking area, but it's entirely tarmac.

Little Chef soon wanted a piece of the action, and built a restaurant next to the westbound forecourt in the mid-1980s. In the event, the eastbound Happy Eater become a Little Chef in 1996 anyway.

After the flyover was built in the 1980s, a spare plot of land of the westbound side was left over and sold off. It was later used as a transport café.

The eastbound forecourt was taken over by George Hammond Plc and converted to BP around 2004.

The westbound Little Chef closed in 2008 and was boarded up for a while, eventually reopening after a couple years with a Costa and Subway under the operation of Goldex Investments. The eastbound restaurant closed in September 2012 and re-opened as Buffalo Café Diner, but this closed in 2016. Euro Garages purchased the building soon after, opening a Starbucks store here in January 2017.

The eastbound forecourt underwent a full rebuild in August 2013 with an expanded SPAR store and Costa Express, which would be later rebranded in February 2019 to 'Welcome' in partnership with Southern Co-op. Café Gusto and Lavazza were later added.

The transport café land had mostly been used by a food truck. This was stopped in 2020 when work started to turn it into an office block.

As part of MFG's acquisition of George Hammond Plc on 30 June 2021, the forecourt saw an immediate rebrand of store to Budgens and the return of Costa Express. A further interior refurbishment followed in October with Greggs filling the former café.

MFG later removed the LPG tanks in summer 2022 to make way for a new MFG EV Power electric vehicle charging hub with eight chargers and three new jet washes. The jet washes opened in Autumn 2022, with the chargers going live in March 2023.


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