M11 Birchanger Green Services

Opened: 1995
Original owner: Welcome Break
Current Owner: Welcome Break

Reputed cost to build was £10,000,000

One of the first Welcome Breaks to feature (in 1995) a Cafe Primo (before now they had been Cafe Forte) and a MacDonalds. Welcome Break had negotiated a long term turnover related lease with MacDonalds, who ran the MacDonalds stores with the MSA. This was different to Granada’s tie up with Burger King, which was a franchise.

Located very near the entrance to London Stanstead Airport, off what was the worst motorway junction in the country for congestion (the junction has since been improved to divert Airport traffic via a sub junction.)

Mentioned in a poem written by a local about the wholesale changes to Birchanger Green which might be inflicted by expansion of Stanstead Airport (view)

Has a tourist office, although you’ll have seen bigger cupboards. Does provide a lot of info on Essex and London.

Appeared breifly in a tv programme (possibly “The Bill” or its Burnside spin off)- police gave chase to a suspect who fled over the embankment at the end of a car park. In the film, just over the embankment was a gravel pit. In reality, theres the A120

The hotel is very close to the airport but a lot cheaper than the airport hotels. The petrol is expensive though, and you’d be better off going half a mile east on the a120 to the petrol station there (typically about 3p cheaper)

Popular lorry stop, but the car park scheme hides them well. Security cabin in car park.

Received a 5 Star Loo of the year award

The services is also a known birdwatching site, and a rare bird has been seen there.

Installed a mini- Sainburys in 2006. It was removed in 2007. Instead Welcome Break tied up with WH Smith.

Very light and airy, thanks to its glass pitch roof running through the middle of the building. Not much has changed in the last 10 years, in terms of layout, but obviously all the fixtures and things have been replaced so its very clean. The entrance doors have been changed to stop the draught, and the Coffee shop (now a coffee primo) is very pleasant on a sunny day.

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