Hilton Park services
|Hilton Park services|
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Hilton Park services is located on the M6 to the north-east of Wolverhampton, between junctions 10A and 11. It has distinctive towers, and is inaccessible to traffic on the M54 and M6 Toll, which both join the M6 within two miles of the services, owing to the junction design in each case. One of the designs for the proposed M54 to M6 Link would have required the removal of the services in order to construct north-facing sliproads between M54 and M6; however, this option was dropped following consultation.
The services cost around £1 million to construct, and were expected to open in 1967. However, delays meant that it actually only opened in 1970, several years after the opening of this stretch of the M6. It was originally operated by Rank, and then subsequently by Pavillion, Granada and Moto. It was historically the busiest motorway service area on the British network, but this ranking has been changed by the opening of M6 Toll which bypasses the services.
The towers on each side housed the Trucker's restaurant, whilst a prayer room on the northbound side was created in the late 1990s. There is a hotel on the southbound side in a separate building; access to this requires use of the staff exit to and from the northbound side.
The services are named after Hilton Park, a stately home to the west of the motorway, and near to the hamlet of Hilton, which has almost disappeared due to it being connected to its larger neighbour of Featherstone.
For a short time in the 1990s, the services were renamed Birmingham North services, despite the fact that Birmingham is actually quite a distance from the services, and not even the nearest major city. This name change lasted less than two years under major pressure from Wolverhampton City Council; who pointed out that Wolverhampton services would be a far more accurate name, and also that an alternative name of Wulfruna services would be considered acceptable. In the end, the original name was restored.
During the planning process of M6, Hilton Park was not named as a potential site for a motorway services - instead this was Essington services approximately two miles to the south. Ironically, the Essington site would have allowed traffic on M54 to use this service area.
|Hilton Park services|