Thurrock services is a motorway service station in Thurrock, Essex, next to the M25 motorway. It was planned in the mid-1980s and opened after the M25 was completed. Originally popular, the services have gradually deteriorated and have attracted criticism for poor facilities. The services have also been a magnet for drug trafficking and other criminal activities.
The service area, owned by Moto, is accessible from junction 30 and 31 of the M25 motorway. Amenities include a Travelodge hotel. The main entrance leads onto a first floor concourse containing shops and food services. The toilets are located on the ground floor.
Pars of the service station overlooks a lake, which was constructed from a former gravel pit.
The site was offered for sale by the landowner to Granada (now Moto Hospitality) in 1976. 40-acre (16 ha) site next to M25 junction 31. Granada announced the following year they intended to build the services, but Esso won the construction contract. Work began in 1988, but was delayed by an objection to the building design from the local planning authority. The services opened in 1990.The area was used for heavy industry and included several pylons, gasometers and industrial sheds. The land had been used for landfill waste, leading to concerns about a build up of methane underneath any development. The sale did not go ahead, but in 1986 the Department of Transport announced that bids would be considered for a
The services were popular when opened, and did not attract attention,but gradually deteriorated and were criticised. In 2018, a Transport Focus survey of 9,600 motorway service users ranked Thurrock as the worst service area in England, with only 68% reporting a satisfactory experience. Problems included a lack of working toilet facilities, queues for showers, no air conditioning and food not kept properly refrigerated. Thurrock was found to be the most improved motorway service area in the 2019 edition of the survey.
The services have been used as an exchange point for illegal drug dealing. A representative from HM Customs and Excise said its location next to a major motorway providing access to cross-channel ports and the rest of the UK made it an ideal meeting point for traffickers.
In 1998, 40 kilograms (88 lb) of heroin was recovered from a van trying to breach a police cordon at the premises. In 2001, heroin valued at £8m was seized following an armed investigation. Two years later, a five-man trafficking team was captured on closed-circuit television; they were subsequently arrested and imprisoned for attempting to distribute £2.6m worth of cocaine. In 2010, a sting operation resulted in several arrests for theft, possession of drugs, carrying offensive weapons and driving without tax and insurance and 32 vehicles were impounded.
The Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing, commonly known as the Dartford Crossing and until 1991 the Dartford Tunnel, is a major road crossing of the River Thames in England, carrying the A282 road between Dartford in Kent in the south and Thurrock in Essex in the north. It consists of two bored tunnels and the cable-stayed Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. The only fixed road crossing of the Thames east of Greater London, it is the busiest estuarial crossing in the United Kingdom, with an average daily use of over 130,000 vehicles. It opened in stages: the west tunnel in 1963, the east tunnel in 1980 and the bridge in 1991. The crossing, although not officially designated a motorway, is considered part of the M25 motorway's route, using the tunnels northbound and bridge southbound. Described as one of the most important road crossings in Britain, it suffers from heavy traffic and congestion.
Thurrock is a unitary authority area with borough status in the English ceremonial county of Essex. It is part of the London commuter belt and an area of regeneration within the Thames Gateway redevelopment zone. The local authority is Thurrock Council.
Grays is the largest town in the borough and unitary authority of Thurrock in Essex and one of Thurrock's traditional parishes. The town is approximately 20 miles (32 km) to the east of London on the north bank of the River Thames, and 2 miles (3.2 km) east of the M25 motorway. Its economy is linked to Port of London industries, its own offices, retail and Lakeside, West Thurrock.
North Ockendon is the easternmost and most outlying settlement of Greater London, England, and part of the London Borough of Havering. It is 18.4 miles (29.6 km) east northeast of Charing Cross and consists of a dispersed settlement within the Metropolitan Green Belt. It was historically an ancient parish in the county of Essex, that was abolished for civil purposes in 1936. North Ockendon is the only area in Greater London outside the M25 London Orbital Motorway. North Ockendon is north of South Ockendon, in Thurrock, Essex.
Moto Hospitality is a company which operates 58 motorway service stations across the United Kingdom. It is currently the UK's biggest service area operator. Moto is owned by USS, who bought it from Macquarie. Macquarie Bank managed Moto between when Compass Group sold off SSP in April 2006 for £1,822 million and late 2015. As they have new owners and to keep up with their rivals, Moto is currently refurbishing sites with new restaurants.
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The Lower Thames Crossing, or Third Thames Crossing, is a proposed new road crossing of the River Thames estuary linking the county of Kent with the county of Essex through Thurrock. The route was confirmed on 12 April 2017 by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling. It is designed to relieve the pressure on the existing A282 Dartford Crossing. After consideration, changes have been made to the plan to make it less obtrusive: the junction with the A226 has been eliminated, and the upgrade extended to the M2, junction 1.
Wetherby Services is a motorway service area north of Wetherby on the A1(M) motorway in northern England. It opened in September 2008, and the hotel opened later. The service station is situated at junction 46 of the A1(M), the interchange between the A1(M) and the B1224. The service area is accessed from a roundabout, making it accessible from both sides of the motorway. It lies just inside North Yorkshire in the parish of Kirk Deighton, although the town of Wetherby is on the West Yorkshire side of the boundary. It is operated by Moto Hospitality.
Toddington Services is a motorway service station on the M1 motorway between junctions 11 and 12 near Dunstable in Bedfordshire, England. It takes its name from the nearby village of Toddington. It is owned by Moto Hospitality.
The Chafford Gorges Nature Park is a 200-acre (81 ha) nature reserve located in Chafford Hundred, England and managed by the Essex Wildlife Trust. It includes two Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Grays Thurrock Chalk Pit has been designated for its biological interest, and Lion Pit for geological interest.
Special Task Force On Organised Crime (STAFOC) are the specialized operation armed response units of the Royal Malaysia Police.
South Mimms services
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Clacket Lane services