Christmas and New Year Opening Hours
24 hours a day, 365 days a year, motorway service areas are required to be open to give you somewhere to eat, drink, refuel and use the toilets. This includes Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and throughout Easter.
During very quiet times (like on Christmas Day) you may only be able to go to the petrol station to use the coffee machine and grab a sandwich, but this still fulfils what is expected of them. All of the facilities in the main buildings will alter their opening hours over Christmas (not Easter) and it's best to check with them.
This law applies only to official motorway services. The rule for official A-road services (services which are signed from an A-road) is that they do not need to be open on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year's Day, and in some cases they don't need to be open between 8pm and 8am. In practice, most large petrol stations will choose to open anyway, but again it's best to check directly with them if you're going to be relying on them.
2019 Specific Details
In addition to the details outlined above, we have been sent the following specific information for 2019:
- Most motorway branches of M&S Simply Food will be open on Christmas Day from 8am until 3pm.
Specifically, this is all branches operated by Moto excluding Birch East, Southwaite North and Trowell South, all of which have another branch of M&S available over the bridge. M&S stores attached to BP petrol stations are not included and will be tied to BP's Christmas schedule.
Other Moto facilities will have reduced opening hours depending on the site and the time of day, but Moto have committed to meeting all of the requirements outlined above.
- Welcome Break branches of Waitrose and Little Waitrose will be open on Christmas Day from 8am until 4pm.
Little Waitrose stores in Shell petrol stations will be tied to Shell's Christmas schedule.
- Roadchef have published detailed opening hours, including a number of 24 hour openings on Christmas Day.