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Hi,
We're going away this weekend and I'm thinking if we set off in the evening after work we can drive for a few hours then stop over at a motorway service area to get a head start for the remaining journey the next day.

Has anyone any experience or advice for stopping at these areas as I'm starting to wonder how safe they are with the constant flow of trucks and traffic.

(I don't want the UK's newest immigrant to climb out from under his Scania taxi and take a liking to the bikes locked on the back of the van etc..!)

Cheers.
 

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Hi,
We're going away this weekend and I'm thinking if we set off in the evening after work we can drive for a few hours then stop over at a motorway service area to get a head start for the remaining journey the next day.

Has anyone any experience or advice for stopping at these areas as I'm starting to wonder how safe they are with the constant flow of trucks and traffic.

(I don't want the UK's newest immigrant to climb out from under his Scania taxi and take a liking to the bikes locked on the back of the van etc..!)

Cheers.
You will have to pay though, I think they have a maximum of 2 hours free parking and if you don't they send an invoice through the post that try's to infer that it's a parking fine.

Not sure how safe it is thoughT:
 

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What about a pub carpark? some pubs are pretty agreeable to you staying if you ask nicely and eat and drink there that evening...or a layby outside a nice village (guess it depends on the area) or a residential road in a posh looking area (just stay sober)

I have stayed in our caravan in services a few times, bit noisy but never felt unsafe, truck drives use them all the time. The Caravan club for all its 3rd reich failings do have a brilliant network of CL's that opens up a massive choice of stop overs and they are usually pretty, cheap and friendly
 

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I never use them on principle. Cost of parking and prices in the shops and restaurants. They are pretty safe though with plenty of cctv in the parking areas. If you use the car or caravan area, the trucks won't bother you. Where are you travelling from, to? I may be able to help with cheaper, better parking. Use pm if need be.
I spend most of my life on our roads. :-D
 

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Where's your journey taking you mate? Perhaps you could kip on a members drive :)

I've had a few stay here and supplied hookup ;)
 

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We've done it a few times to split the journey from Yorkshire to Cornwall in half, leaving straight after work and staying at Taunton Deane services.
Like others have said; make sure you go in and pay for overnighting, we made the mistake first time and got home after our break to a £60 fine. The tiny sign about parking charges was half-way up a lamppost, hard to see in the dark after a 6 hour drive when all you want to do is sleep... :(

Choose your parking spot wisely, away from the main door where there will be people milling about all night (especially Friday and Saturday nights).
Try and get away from the truck parking especially if it is a single-sided services like Gordano near Bristol where northbound and southbound drivers often exchange trailers - makes for a terrible night's sleep.
Try to avoid the caravanners if it's high-season, they tend to arrive and leave at all hours with kids and barking dogs in tow.

Ask if there's any perks when you pay for parking; free showers at some services. We got a £10 breakfast voucher with our £15 parking charge.

Choose which services to stop at wisely - some look inherently safer than others.
 

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Where's your journey taking you mate? Perhaps you could kip on a members drive :)

I've had a few stay here and supplied hookup ;)
Can we book for 2 weeks July next year... cheersT:

how much is the hookup:eek:
 

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Can we book for 2 weeks July next year... cheersT:

how much is the hookup:eek:
You and your good lady are welcome any time Andy ;)

Seriously, I'm 5 mins from jct 25 (Taunton) if the op wants to stop over :)

We have cake :D
 

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Rip-off Britain at it's absolute worst. We are reminded of the dangers of driving tired yet you dare try to get your head down in a motoway service area you have to pay through the nose to stay on a urine soaked car park. If you happen to have the temerity to exceed your allowed two hours some parasites decide that they can hit you with a "fine" which although totally unenforceable is accompanied by months of harrassment in the form of pseudo-legal threatening letters. Compare this with the networks in France, Germany, Italy which are an absolute dream and set up to help the motorist rather than to bleed them dry. It really makes me :mad:

I think it is indicative of a wider problem within society that in our Anglo-Saxon hard-line capitalism, nothing happens for any reason other than profit.

Where's your journey taking you mate? Perhaps you could kip on a members drive :)

I've had a few stay here and supplied hookup ;)
Great idea. Not without potential pitfalls though, I turned up at a mate's house a few weeks back to the following notices: LOL:



Alternatively, to the OP I'd recommend leaving the motorway network and driving a few miles to find a lay-by somewhere to get your head down.
 

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Basic rules for lay by and industrial estate parking, I virtually live in them during the week :-D
If they are empty or just foreign trucks, don't use it. If it has British trucks parked for the night, then it's relatively safe. Talk to the truckers if you haven't used it before, we don't bite. :-D.
Explain if you have valuables in the back and most will "box you in" so you would need a tower crane to get your van out..
I know most of the lay by,s and decent ind estates throughout the whole country. So if anybody ever needs somewhere to get your head down. Drop me a line.
 

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DO NOT PARK IN MOTORWAY SERVICE STATIONS!!!!!!

I have been fined twice now, I am fighting them, but I am not convinced I will win! This is a nightmare situation as was put forward by "shaunr68". I live out of my Van and need places to stay near various clients who are just off motorways. Portishead and Membury are now off my list!!!!

Will
 

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DO NOT PARK IN MOTORWAY SERVICE STATIONS!!!!!!

I have been fined twice now, I am fighting them, but I am not convinced I will win! This is a nightmare situation as was put forward by "shaunr68". I live out of my Van and need places to stay near various clients who are just off motorways. Portishead and Membury are now off my list!!!!

Will
its ok if you pay and get the free breakfast, showers etc... Clearly parking up for the night where signs say max two hours is going to cause you grief...
 

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DO NOT PARK IN MOTORWAY SERVICE STATIONS!!!!!!

I have been fined twice now, I am fighting them, but I am not convinced I will win! This is a nightmare situation as was put forward by "shaunr68". I live out of my Van and need places to stay near various clients who are just off motorways. Portishead and Membury are now off my list!!!!

Will
If your going to fight them - do nothing, don't correspond with them, as soon as you do you are effectively entering into a contract with them.T:
 

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DO NOT PARK IN MOTORWAY SERVICE STATIONS!!!!!!

I have been fined twice now, I am fighting them, but I am not convinced I will win! This is a nightmare situation as was put forward by "shaunr68". I live out of my Van and need places to stay near various clients who are just off motorways. Portishead and Membury are now off my list!!!!

Will
I have been stayed over night in services 100's of times and i have always had these so called fines,they are not a fine but a invoice,i have never paid one and they have never taken me to court yet,the reason why they haven't is because to win in court they have to prove that by my staying there caused them to be out of pocket by the £75 or whatever they are trying to charge,when you do receive one of these so called fines just ignore it,they will then send you one more usually with a photo attached just ignore that one too and you will not hear anything else,but if you talk to them they think they have you and will pester you to defeat
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Wow, I didn't expect such a great response from this but thanks for all your replies!

We're waiting to see the weather forecast tomorrow so as yet we've not chosen a destination so can't make any definite arrangements but setting up an overnight driveway / garden camping network might be a good idea for us all in the future?

Thanks again!
 
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