Motorway Services Online

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Washington services


A1(M) between J64 and J65

Signposted from the road? Yes (as Greggs/Costa/Burger King)



map and directions


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

Rating: See the reviews

The unusual world of Washington services: an old building, sharing its name with a world-famous capital city, squished into its own deeply urban area. The unusual southbound exit sees traffic having to stop at what is effectively a crossroads on the motorway before it can rejoin the A1(M): it's not a problem, it's just all a bit odd.

The internal footbridge is currently closed due to structural issues.


Catering: on both sides: Costa Coffee, Greggs, Costa Express
plus northbound only: Burger King
and southbound only: KFC
Shops: WHSmith Amenities: on both sides: Travelodge, Full Hou$e
plus northbound only: Changing Places
and southbound only: Showers
Outdoor Space: Picnic Tables; southbound has small grass area at back of car park Charging Points: GRIDSERVE Electric Highway HPC 350kW CCS, 100kW CHAdeMO & 22kW Type 2 Forecourt: BP, Shop, Costa Express, Rollover

Parking Prices

First 2 hours free for all vehicles, after which cars must pay £15 and HGVs, caravans and motorhomes £25. HGVs can pay £28 to include a £10 food voucher.

Prices are paid using PayByPhone or in the shop. The location code is 2474 (northbound) and 2475 (southbound).

The fees are strictly enforced by CP Plus.

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

Contact Details

🏢 Address:
Washington Motorway Services Area
A1 M
Tyne and Wear

Trivia and History

Granada Washington services.
The service area building, under Granada ownership.

See also: History:Washington

The boundary between Gateshead town and Sunderland city runs along the A1(M), with a distinct kink as it moves around the service area. This could seen either as Gateshead embracing the service area, or Sunderland emphatically rejecting it. Washington town is part of Sunderland and therefore across the boundary from the service area that's named after it. This is why it opened as 'Washington-Birtley', and it has a history of unusual innovations.

Until 2015, Moto were still manually updating the signs on the motorway with the current price of fuel, using patches. All other service areas in Britain stopped doing this at least 10 years earlier, but on several occasions Washington had been trying to compete with local garages.

Several unusual signs on the southbound carriageway tell people looking for the northbound service area to stop and use the footbridge. No other service area has this pointed out. Meanwhile, when re-joining the southbound carriageway, there is no sign to mark the start of motorway regulations, and it appears to have been missing for 15 years, if not much longer.

The southbound exit to the A1(M) is very unusual, but much safer after changes were made in 2008. Previously, traffic leaving the service area had to stop and give way to two lanes of motorway traffic, which it had to cross at a sharp angle before it could rejoin the A1(M).

The Highways Agency had listed Washington as an "approved truckstop", something which surprisingly few service areas were. Previously the Highways Agency's approved truckstop was the Nightowl Truckstops site at the rear of the service area (and completely separate from it).

Six ultra-rapid GRIDSERVE chargers were added to both sides in early 2023. Northern Powergrid had been looking at improving the site's charging capacity.

Following the British RAAC scandal in 2023, reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete was found in the roof of the pedestrian footbridge at Washington services. It was closed to the public as a precaution in September, and is so far the only service area to be impacted.

Works commenced on the southbound side in early 2024 on converting the former EDC restaurant servery into a new KFC restaurant, with the new restaurant opening on 11 March 2024.


Durham (11 miles)Services on the A1(M)Seaton Burn (A1, 16 miles)
Scotch Corner (34 miles)
Barton Park Truckstop (32 miles)
Moto servicesnone nearby

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