Motorway Services Online

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Service stations are staying open.

Help with Infoboxes

The infobox is used as a general information box to display on pages, particularly ones relating to brands and operators.

The purpose of an infobox is to give all the vital information people might need to know. For a long time Google has taken information from it (their algorithm struggles to read the main text but can process the table easily), but now other robotic assistants are too.


An example of an infobox, filled out for Granada.

It should be placed at the top of the page and is used as follows:

|colour = #ED1B2D
|image = Popham_Little_Chef.jpg
|locations = 177
|associated = [[Coffee Tempo!]], [[Travelodge]]

As well as 'colour', 'image', 'locations' and 'associated', the following variables can be used, preferably in this order. Note that each once is optional and can be either left blank or not included at all.

  • |name - The name of the brand or operator, if not supplied it will use the page name.
  • |colour - The brand's primary colour, preferably in hexadecimal form ('#FFFFFF') but text form ('white') is also acceptable. The colour should be extracted from the brand's website. If not supplied it will default to motorway blue.
  • |font - If the 'colour' tag would make the 'name' illegible, you should supply an alternative colour. As above, hexadecimal is preferred but text is acceptable.
  • |image - The main picture of the brand, preferably one uploaded by one of our members. Supply the name of the file as it is uploaded on here.
  • |locations - Can be set to auto, msas, uk or uk-msas to automatically count how many branches there are. If none of those suit, you can type your own answer in, like "45 MSA restaurants".
  • |associated - No longer used.
  • |accompaniedby - New item being trialled: for listing brands that are often paired with this one.
  • |related - New item being trialled: for listing sister companies (close relations only).
  • |usedby - New item being trialled: for listing operators that use this brand.
  • |seealso - New item being trialled: for listing brands that do a similar job, usually rivals.
  • |introduced - The year the chain was introduced to service stations.
  • |removed - The year the final service station branch closed.
  • |openinghours - The typical opening hours - not for operators.
  • |predecessors - Names of the brands this replaced.
  • |successors - Names of the brands that replaced it.
  • |acquired - Intended for operators only - the company they are acquired by.
  • |chiefexec - For operators only - the chief executive.
  • |hqaddress - For operators only - the address of the headquarters. Use {{newline}} to create a new line, making it easier to read
  • |telephone - For operators only - the head office's telephone number.
  • |rating - For operators only - put their name. This will connect to the database, so it needs to be capitalised correctly and without spaces (ie 'WelcomeBreak').
  • |website - The company's official website, without the http:// or www. unless it is necessary.
  • |facebook - The company's official Facebook page, without the or any tracking information
  • |twitter - The company's Twitter handle
  • |country - Can be 'Ireland', 'UK' or the default, 'both'. 'Both' should be used if the brand has been active on both country's motorways.
  • |gallery - System will try to count how many photos of this brand we have uploaded. Sometimes, it needs help finding them. This line can tell it to search for something else.

Except where the template requires it, external links shouldn't be used here, as we're only after a summary.

A warning about colours

Our infoboxes use colours to make them easily recognisable. We are not trying to perfectly recreate brand logos (if we wanted that we'd use an image). In particular, we need to remember that not everybody's vision is the same and we should stick to high-contrast colours.

Services Infobox

Service stations use their own infobox. It takes exactly the same format, but has a different set of variables. They are:

  • |name - The name of the brand or operator, if not supplied it will use the page name.
  • |irish or |welsh - If there is an established Irish or Welsh name, provide it here.
  • |type - The type of service station - can be either motorway, primary, non-primary, closed, planned or rest area. User:Johnathan404 should be informed of any changes as this will affect the back-end of the site.
  • |operator - The operator. Accepts all current operators and will return with their colour scheme, plus 'truckstop' to create a black colour scheme. It should only be used where the operator is clear. The operator should be whoever runs the amenity building with a choice of food and free toilets, and if there isn't one, or if there is just one facility, that one.
  • |owner - The operator's name, for use with truckstops.
  • |country - Tells the system which version of the site to list the services on. It will assume 'UK', unless you provide 'NI' or 'Ireland'.
  • |image - Preferably a photo of the front of the services. Supply the name of the file as it is uploaded on here. We want to summarise the page. For A-road services, the main facility is the one with the most toilets.
  • |road - The road and junction name or junction numbers of the services.
  • |address - No longer needed except for closed services - otherwise use Template:Contact Details
  • |postcode or *|eircode - needed to power the search engine
  • |maplink - a Google Maps link, for services which don't have a full map page only.
  • |signposted - Are the services signposted from the road? Enter 'Yes', 'No' or 'As...' if the operator's name doesn't appear on the signs.
  • |opened - For closed or planned services only - for all others use Template:Key Date elsewhere in the article instead.
  • |prevop - Previous operators (for closed services only - for all others use Template:Key Date elsewhere in the article instead)
  • |prevname - Another name the service station is known by. Only use it when needed.
  • |gridref - Used for closed services only.
  • |stype - Services type, such as 'single site located at a junction'. A correct answer will add the page to several categories.
  • |rating - The identifier we're looking for in the ratings database.
  • |coords - the coordinates of the services, this should already be filled out.
  • |briefroad - a briefer description of the location - used to power the search engine. For roads with no junction numbers, use nearby towns.
  • |markerpost - used to tell the system what order the services come in as you drive the road. Where available we copy the number on the blue km signs next to the road. Sometimes a trick is needed to get around roads with unusual numbering.
  • |hgvs - set to "no" if the service area has a complete lorry ban. You can also add information like "fuel only" or "westbound only".
  • |nights - set to "no" if the site closes completely at night. In theory you can also add information like "fuel only", but that doesn't currently do anything.

Proposed and Unbuilt Services

If a service area is in the early stages of the planning process, it doesn't need the big infobox outlined above. Template:Planned can be used for rumoured projects, and then Template:Services takes over when construction is about to begin.

It works just like the other two, but opens with {{Proposed and has variables as follows:

  • |name - the most likely name of the services.
  • |irish or |welsh - if the most likely name has an established translation, provide it here.
  • |road - the road the services would have been on.
  • |location - a rough location.
  • |othernames - other names the plans were known by.
  • |dateplanned - roughly the dates where the services were planned.
  • |coords - the coordinates of the services, this can be obtained using the map (the right-most edit tool).
  • |coords2 - the coordinates of the second planned place of the services, if applicable.
  • |maplink - a Google Maps link showing all the planned sites of the services, if there were more than one (otherwise it will be generated automatically).
  • |operator - who planned or would have operated the services.
  • |seealso - similar, nearby planned services.
  • |gridref - the grid reference of the services.
  • |image - a photo showing the unbuilt services as best as possible.
  • |gallery - System will try to count how many photos of this brand we have uploaded. Sometimes, it needs help finding them. This line can tell it to search for something else.

Finally, there is Template:Unbuilt, which is invoked with {{Unbuilt It uses the same variables as Template:Planned, but is very rarely needed, as unbuilt service areas rarely get their own page.