Toddington Services is a motorway service station on the M1 motorway between junctions 11A and 12, just north of Luton and Dunstable in Bedfordshire, England. It takes its name from the nearby village of Toddington. It is owned by Moto Hospitality.
It was announced in October 1961 as the third motorway service areaof Granada Group, of Golden Square, and was given the contract in early July 1962, for over 1,000 people, 60 petrol and diesel pumps. It would be 14 acres, the first transport cafe for truckers on a British motorway.
On Thursday 30 April 1964, when erecting a metal lamp post on the motorway, 35 year old, father of four, Joseph McGuire of Moorgate St, Liverpool, was electrocuted, and taken to Luton and Dunstable Hospital, where he died. Two other 30 year old workers, from Walker Installations, of Great Howard St in Liverpool were injured with burns to their hands and feet.The architect was CH Elsom & Sons of London.
Toddington Services partially opened at Whitsun in the spring of 1964; the rest of the main 800-seat restaurant opened in early 1965. The section of M1 it is on opened in November 1959. When opened, it was the first service area on the journey north from London on the M1, and the UK's largest. It was the UK's eighth motorway service station, and the M1's third service area; the M1 had the UK's first two motorway service areas.
It was Granada Motorway Services's first motorway service area; its next would be Frankley in the north of Worcestershire on the M5 in 1966. Granada Motorway Services Ltd (now called Moto Motorway Services) was incorporated on 28 August 1962.From January 2001 to September 2006 it was known as Compass Motorway Services.
Other Granada services further up the M1 were Trowell in Nottinghamshire and Woolley Edge in West Yorkshire. By the end of the 1980s Granada had twenty motorway service areas, being headquartered at Toddington.
Around one mile south, on the western side of the M1, is the large Sundon Substation in Chalton, a terminus of many pylon lines of the National Grid. The eastern side of the car park (trucks) is underneath a 275kV pylon line, which terminates at Sundon. Around 300 metres to the east is the Midland Main Line, between Harlington railway station (to the north) and Leagrave railway station (to the south). The site is accessed off the motorway via a private road from the B530, which connects to junction 12 (A5120, for Flitwick and Woburn) to the north. The Icknield Way passes east-west north and south of the site.
Moto Hospitality, which operates 58 motorway service stations, is actually headquartered at the southbound site.
The first M&S Simply Food at a Moto site opened at Toddington in 2003.
As a location in the 1972 film Fear In the Night .
In the last episode of BBC's Knowing Me Knowing You radio series in 1993, Alan Partridge's last guest dies on air. Partridge decides to observe a minute's silence, but realises - as it is radio - that a minute of 'dead air' is impossible. He therefore intersperses the silence with an occasional utterance. Thus he suggests to listeners on the road to pull off and join in the minute's silence. He even goes as far as naming a few service stations where they can park their cars. One of them is Toddington. In episode two of the television series Knowing Me Knowing You Partridge introduces his guest Daniella Forrest (Minnie Driver) with another reference to Toddington: "So, now, my first guest is intelligent, witty, a woman of the world with a figure that would stop the traffic dead, both ways on the M1 if she were to wiggle across the footbridge at Toddington Service Station."
In 2004, Toddington Services featured in series 4, episode 3 of Top Gear with the three presenters comparing a Volvo 760, Audi 80 and Rover 416GTi before proceeding up the M1 and M6 to Old Trafford.
Bedfordshire is a ceremonial and historic county in the East of England. It is bordered by Northamptonshire to the north, Cambridgeshire to the north-east, Hertfordshire to the south-east, and Buckinghamshire to the west. The largest settlement is Luton which had a population of 225,262 in 2021.
The M1 motorway connects London to Leeds, where it joins the A1(M) near Aberford, to connect to Newcastle. It was the first inter-urban motorway to be completed in the UK; the first motorway in the country was the Preston Bypass, which later became part of the M6.
South Bedfordshire was, from 1974 to 2009, a non-metropolitan district of Bedfordshire, in the East of England. Its main towns were Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Leighton Buzzard.
Markyate is a village and civil parish in north-west Hertfordshire, close to the border with Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
Toddington is a large village and civil parish in the county of Bedfordshire, England. It is situated 5 miles north-north-west of Luton, 4 miles (6 km) north of Dunstable, 6 miles (10 km) south-west of Woburn, and 35 miles north-north-west of London on the B5120 and B579. It is 0.5 miles from Junction 12 of the M1 motorway and lends its name to the nearby motorway service station. The hamlet of Fancott also forms part of the Toddington civil parish.
Harlington is a village and civil parish located in Bedfordshire, England, near the M1 motorway. The nearest town is Flitwick about 3 miles (4.8 km) to the north.
Moto Hospitality Limited, trading as Moto, is a British service station operator which operates 59 motorway service stations across the United Kingdom. It is currently the UK's largest service area operator.
Chalton is a village and civil parish in the Central Bedfordshire district of Bedfordshire, England, immediately north of the Luton/Dunstable conurbation and bounded to the east by the M1 motorway and the Midland Main Line railway line.
Newport Pagnell Services is a motorway service station between junctions 14 and 15 of the M1 motorway near Newport Pagnell in the City of Milton Keynes, north Buckinghamshire, England. It is owned and operated by Welcome Break.
Heston services is a motorway service station on the M4 motorway in the London Borough of Hounslow, built on land that once formed part of the now defunct Heston Aerodrome.
Frankley services is a motorway service station on the M5 motorway between Junctions 3 and 4, near Birmingham, and taking its name from the nearby village of Frankley.
Leagrave is a former village and now a suburb of Luton, in the Luton district, in the ceremonial county of Bedfordshire, England, in the northwest of the town. The area is roughly bounded by Vincent Road, Torquay Drive and High Street to the north, Roman Road and Stoneygate Road to the south, the M1 to the west, and Marsh Road and Leagrave Park to the east.
Lewsey is a suburb of Luton, about 3 miles (4.8 km) west north-west of the town centre, and a ward of the Borough of Luton, in the ceremonial county of Bedfordshire, England. The suburb is roughly bounded by Leagrave High Street to the north, Dunstable Road to the south, Poynters Road, Dunstable to the west, and the M1 to the east.
Sundon Park is a suburb of north Luton, in the Luton district, in the ceremonial county of Bedfordshire, England. The area is roughly bounded by the edge of Luton to the north, Leagrave Park to the south, the Midland Main Line to the west, and Spinney Woods and the footpath from the woods to the edge of town to the east.
Challney is a district in Luton, in the Luton district, in the ceremonial county of Bedfordshire, England, off the main arterial road leading from Luton into Dunstable. The area is roughly bounded by Rodheath, Stoneygate Road, Roman Road, and Beechwood Road to the north, Hatters Way to the south, the M1 to the west, and Waller Avenue and Chaul End Lane to the east.
Luton is a town in the United Kingdom less than 30 miles (50 km) north of the centre of London, and has good transport links via the motorway network and the National Rail system. Luton is also home to Luton Airport, one of the major feeder airports for London and the southeast. The town is also served by buses run by Arriva Herts & Essex and other operators and has a guided busway. As a Unitary Authority, Luton Borough Council is responsible for local highways and public transport in the borough.
Dunstable is a market town and civil parish in Bedfordshire, England, east of the Chiltern Hills, 30 miles north of London. There are several steep chalk escarpments, most noticeable when approaching Dunstable from the north. Dunstable is the fourth largest town in Bedfordshire and along with Houghton Regis forms the westernmost part of the Luton/Dunstable urban area.
Grantham North Services is a service area operated by Moto located on the A1 at Gonerby Moor Roundabout, four miles north of Grantham in Lincolnshire, England. The service station has a main car park and coach/lorry park, off which is a BP petrol station.
The Luton-Dunstable Busway is a guided busway system in Bedfordshire, England, which connects the towns of Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Luton with Luton Airport. It was built on the route of a disused railway track and opened in September 2013. The busway runs parallel to the A505 and A5065 for 13.4 kilometres (8.3 mi), of which 7.7 kilometres (4.8 mi) is guided track with a maximum speed of 50 mph. It is claimed to be the second longest busway in the world.