`

Revealed: Why Lancs M6 services access road has been shut

Share this article

The ongoing mystery of who has stopped an access road being used an an unofficial motorway junction has been revealed.

The entrance to the northbound M6 at Charnock Richard now has a barrier.

The M6 services st Charnock Richard

The M6 services st Charnock Richard

It was a mystery who was behind the move.

But now service station operator Welcome Break has revealed it was responsible.

A spokesman said: “ The slip road is only available to use to authorised personnel.

"Motorway Service Operators are obliged to enter into sealed agreements with the Secretary of State for Transport in order to have signed access to the motorway network.

"These include a number of mandatory provisions. Amongst these are the requirement that use of the rear accesses to their sites must be confined to authorised vehicles only.

"This is necessary in order to prevent the service areas from becoming informal motorway junctions (with consequent disruption to the lives of those living and working on the approach roads) and to ensure the safety of legitimate users of the sites, especially pedestrians, who could be exposed to danger from through traffic travelling at speed.

"Motorway Service Area accesses are private means of access not a public rights of way and must be controlled to restrict unauthorised access. As such the use of the rear access could be considered as trespass and public use of the access without prior agreement would be prohibited.

“Crucially, it is current Government policy which stipulates that rear access roads are only used by motorway service area staff / deliveries, emergency services and Agency staff / contractors where an access is in use.

"Access to other facilities or developments through motorway service areas are not permitted anywhere on the strategic road network.

"We and other Motorway Service Area Operators work hard to comply with the terms of our agreements in order to control the access roads and a consistent approach is maintained with the oversight of Highways England."

The southbound side of the services is still open.

Historically both the access routes had no entry signs, but for many years motorists have used the motorway services as an unofficial junction to get on and off the M6.