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Motorway Service Station Charges

mhYn1paI thought you might be interested in something that happened to me last week as it could have cost me £60. I was driving back home from a few days in Devon and was a bit concerned when setting off about a slight knocking coming from the front of the car. The noise got worse to the point of my deciding that I would have to stop at the motorway service station and get the AA to relay me home. I was unsure of what the problem was but I was sure it was serious. Whilst I was phoning the AA my wife walked over to the shop to buy a few things as we anticipated a long wait. 

The AA said they would send somebody to assess the situation but it could take up to 2 hrs as that Friday night they were very busy. Once assessed they would then decide whether or not a relay was necessary and if it was, then there would be another substantial wait. I went over to the shop where I found my wife paying at the till. " it will be around 2hrs before the AA arrive" I said, whereupon the shop assistant said that if I was in the car park for longer than 2 hours I would get an automatic fine of £60 through the post. It appears every car arriving at a service station has its number plate photographed on entry together with the time. She accessed the system and put in my details to ensure I was registered as having broken down and therefore not subject to the waiting restriction.

I did recall having heard about the restricted time you can spend at a motorway service station but had clean forgotten about it. Thinking back there have been a number of times in the last few years when we have taken a break at a service station in the early hours of the morning to get a short sleep before resuming our journey down from Scotland. I can only assume that on each occasion we have spent less than the 2 hours restriction although I am am sure we must have been close.

I am sure many of you will either have forgotten about this if you ever knew in the first place. Few of my friends are aware of it. If you break down then be sure to seek out a member of staff with access to the system to ensure you do not get caught.

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