Pease Pottage
Information and Resources

Moto Service Station

Moto service station, Pease Pottage, Sussex

The M23 service station at Pease Pottage is one of the smallest motorway service stations in the country. Originally owned by Welcome Break, then Granada, it is now run by Moto.

The service station functions as the village’s corner shop. Unusually for a motorway service station, there is access for pedestrians, along a path to the south of the main building. Whether it is technically a motorway service station is debatable, since it is not actually on the motorway, and is directly accessible from the A23 and A264.

Contents

Location and Directions

Unlike most service stations, the one at Pease Pottage is a short distance away from the motorway:

  1. Leave the M23 at junction 11.
  2. Get in the left-hand lane on the slip road.
  3. Once past the traffic lights, the entrance to the service station is a couple of hundred yards along on the right-hand side of the road.

To return to the M23, turn left on leaving the service station. The sign to the motorway is not ideally placed, and a surprisingly large number of people miss it.

Facilities

The motorway service station at Pease Pottage contains:

Despite the impression given by one of the motorway signs, there is no accommodation at Pease Pottage services, although lorry drivers may sleep in their cabs.

Moto Road Signs

Moto has its own system of signs within its service station grounds. Few of the signs follow the standard Highway Code system for warnings, prohibitions and positive instructions. In fact, many of Moto’s signs use the Highway Code’s visual clues in precisely the opposite way from their normal meanings. There is an amusing dissection of Moto’s bizarre signage system at http://www.cbrd.co.uk/indepth/motoservices/.

Opening Hours

By law, motorway service stations must provide food, fuel and toilets 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Pease Pottage service station offers two options for the hungry overnight traveller:

The Marks and Spencer Simply Food shop at Pease Pottage is open 7 days a week from 7.00 to 22.00, and Costa Coffee from 8.00 to about 18.00 (a bit later on some days).

Parking at the Moto Service Station, Pease Pottage

Note that at busy times it can be difficult to find a parking space. If the car park is full, or if you want to have a long snooze and don’t feel like paying Moto’s parking charge, use the Google map elsewhere on this page to check out other parking areas in Pease Pottage. Parish Lane, Finches Field and Old Brighton Road South are all used by canny, sleepy, and cost-conscious drivers.

Disabled Parking

There are a few disabled parking bays close to the building’s entrance (behind the sign at the right of the picture at the top of this page). Moto used to employ a man with a peaked cap to keep an eye on the car park, but he disappeared some time ago. It is uncommon to see a car using these bays that actually displays a disabled parking badge.

Cost of Parking

By law, parking is free at motorway service stations for the first two hours.

To stay longer than two hours, you will need to buy a ticket in advance that entitles you to 24 hours’ parking. The cost (at May 2011) is:

Buying a Ticket

There are two ways to buy a parking ticket for the Pease Pottage service station:

Threats of Parking Fines

Number plates are recorded by automatic cameras on entry to the car park. Signs warn that overstayers will be issued with Parking Charge Notices and fined between £80 and £330.

Despite the impression given by the use of capital letters, Parking Charge Notices are merely commercial invoices issued by an unaccountable private company. They are not the same thing as Penalty Charge Notices, which are legally enforceable parking tickets issued by local authorities and other bodies subject to some form of democratic influence. Penalty Charge Notices in Pease Pottage are administered by Mid Sussex District Council.

No doubt Moto deeply regret any confusion caused by the name they have chosen for their invoices.

In Moto’s favour, it should be pointed out that:

On the other hand, it should be pointed out that:

Legal Status of Service Station Parking Fines

It is unclear whether Moto are entitled in law to demand any more than their 24-hour charge, although no doubt plenty of overstayers do pay their official-looking ‘fines’. According to Which Legal Service:

In the case of parking tickets issued by private companies, it is not criminal law but contract law that applies. … if you over-stay at a car park then the land owner loses revenue. The penalty however may apply [ sic ] a fixed charge of between £60 and £100, but this does not mean that they are entitled to this under under [ sic ] the law of contract. They are only entitled to their actual losses as a result of your breach of contract. … Anything above and beyond the actual loss that they try to claim would be classified as a penalty and, under contract law, they are not entitled to recover that penalty. Thus when PPCs [private parking companies] charge £60-£1000 for what is a minimal loss on their part, the above regulations [the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999] will apply.

See the full article at http://www.whichlegalservice.co.uk/members-area/parking-advice/challenging-a-private-parking-ticket/.

For more about the legality of private companies trying to ‘fine’ people, see:

Invoices for parking charges are issued to the registered keeper of the vehicle whose number plate is scanned on entry to the car park. But any parking charges are owed not by the registered keeper but by the driver of the vehicle. It is up to the owner of a car park to prove the identity of the driver of the vehicle, which the owner of the car park generally cannot do unless the registered keeper discloses the information. In practice, it appears that if you completely ignore the invoices, they will go away.

The money-grabbing aspect of the Pease Pottage service station car park is sub-contracted to an outfit called CP Plus.

Contacting the Service Station

None of the franchises at Pease Pottage service station are particularly easy to get hold of by phone or email. This may not be accidental.

Officially, the service station’s phone number is 01293 562852. We have heard stories of people who have tried ringing this number — whether to complain about a parking ‘fine’, to enquire about some lost property, or, in one case, to ask for CCTV or ANPR footage to be supplied to the police after a theft — all without success.

If you need to contact the Pease Pottage service station and you find that no-one answers the phone, your best bet is to contact Moto’s head office on 01525 873933.

Traffic Advice

Busy traffic sometimes makes it difficult and dangerous to turn right out of the service station. If you want to turn right, turn left instead and use the large A23/M23 roundabout to head back towards Pease Pottage and Handcross.

The Pease Pottage car boot sale is situated directly opposite the service station, and often leads to big traffic jams on Sunday mornings in the summer.

If you want to buy fuel as well as visiting the shops and eateries, do your shopping and eating first by turning left as you enter. If you buy fuel first you’ll have to leave the premises and do an awkward U turn to get back inside, which may not be possible if the road is busy. The electric charging points are situated by the main building, not by the petrol station.

Insider Tip

For a wider selection of shops as well as toilets, adequate parking, and a petrol station, go to Broadfield in Crawley, just over one mile away. The petrol station in Broadfield, which is tucked away behind the shopping parade, is noticeably cheaper than the one at Pease Pottage services, and also offers LPG fuel.

From the M23/A23 roundabout at junction 11, follow the signs for the A264 towards Horsham. At the first roundabout, take Tollgate Hill, the second exit (right) into Broadfield (see the map above). Be aware that although Tollgate Hill looks like a 50- or 60-mph road, the limit is actually 30, and there are sometimes radar traps. At the first roundabout on this road, either

More Information

There are no other service stations on the M23, but:

The photograph gallery includes some pictures of the building of the Pease Pottage service station.

You can find out all about the very exciting history of the M23 at the informative and newly revamped Chris’s British Road Directory site.

Contact Details

website
www.moto-way.com/location/pease-pottage
email
no email
phone
01293 562852 (branch) / 01525 873933 (head office)
address
Brighton Road, Pease Pottage, Sussex, RH11 9YA

See the Pease Pottage Area Directory »

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