Lancaster (Forton) Services

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Lancaster (Forton) Services
Moto Forton services northbound.jpg
The Pennine Tower
Lancaster (Forton) Services is located in Lancashire
Lancaster (Forton) Services
Lancaster (Forton) Services (Lancashire)
County: Lancashire
Road: M6
Coordinates: 53°57′39″N 2°45′34″W / 53.960779°N 2.759575°W / 53.960779; -2.759575Coordinates: 53°57′39″N 2°45′34″W / 53.960779°N 2.759575°W / 53.960779; -2.759575
Operator: Moto Hospitality
Previous operator(s): Top Rank
Date opened: 1965[1]
Website: Moto

Lancaster (Forton) services is a motorway service station, between junctions 32 and 33 of the M6 motorway in England. The nearest city is Lancaster, about seven miles (11 km) to the north. Shops include WHSmith, M&S and Cotton Traders and Burger King, Costa Coffee and Greggs for food and drink. There is also a BP Petrol station . The site is operated by Moto.

Like many older service stations, it has an all-weather enclosed bridge which enables pedestrians to use both the northbound and southbound facilities. In 2005 this bridge had work carried out to strengthen it to withstand the impact of a heavy goods vehicle.[2]

Motorists can also use both the northbound and southbound facilities by driving through no-entry signs to leave the motorway, cross the motorway on a normal unclassified road and re-enter the motorway services on the other side through another no-entry sign. This is required if accessing the northbound situated Travelodge from the southbound side and the route is detailed on the website. [3]


Opened in November 1965 with the name Forton services, it was the second service station to open on the motorway (Charnock Richard being the first), and is named after the nearby village of Forton. The architect was T.P. Bennett and Son and it was originally operated by The Rank Organisation (Top Rank Motor Inns). TP Bennett & Sons first design for service areas was Strensham services; Forton was its second. It was opened on the Preston-Lancaster section of the M6.[4]

Junction 33 (A6) is to the north and junction 32 (M55) is to the south; the section opened in 1965.[5]

The Pennine Tower in 1981 (northbound)


The services is notable for an unusual hexagonal concrete tower on the northbound side, named The Pennine Tower, which originally housed an up-market restaurant and a sun deck.[6] The tower was designed to resemble an Air Traffic Control Tower and is a prominent local landmark. The tower is 74ft across.

The tower closed to the public in 1989 due to current Fire Regulations (there is no means of providing an alternative exit from the restaurant deck in an emergency), and is only used for storage and occasional staff training.[7] The original Otis pentagon-shaped lifts which served the tower are still used to service the ground floor and first floor of the building. The tower was built to give views over Morecambe Bay to the west and the Trough of Bowland to the east.

The Tower was listed Grade II on 15 October 2012.[8]

The site's eastern edge is the boundary between Wyre district and City of Lancaster district.





  • BP
  • Ecotricity



External links[edit]

Next southbound:
Charnock Richard
Motorway service stations on the
M6 motorway
Next northbound: