Moto Hospitality Limited,[2][3] trading as Moto, is a British service station operator which operates 59 motorway service stations across the United Kingdom. It is currently the UK's largest service area operator.

Moto Hospitality Limited
Company typePrivate
Founded7 February 2001 (7 February 2001) (Toddington)
HeadquartersToddington, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
Area served
United Kingdom except Northern Ireland
Key people
  • Ken McMeikan (CEO)
  • Claire Catlin (CFO)
  • Nick Tatum (CCO)
Revenue£791.282 million (2021)[1]
Number of employees
5,120 (2021)[1]



Operations (2001–2020)


Granada, who owned the chain of Granada motorway service stations, merged with Compass in July 2000 to form Granada Compass plc. The plan was to combine the hospitality interests of the two businesses and hive off the media division, which was done by demerging the new group into Compass plc and Granada Media in 2001.

Previously, Granada had acquired Forte plc in a £3.3bn hostile takeover on 24 January 1996. It sold its French Cote France service stations to Italy's Autogrill in December 1997. The food and hospitality division of Granada was retained by Compass, which became part of its Select Service Partner (SSP) UK division, but ownership of the Granada brand and trademark passed to the new media company. The Granada name was retained on the service stations until 23 May 2001, when the 47 sites were rebranded as Moto.

Upon rebrand, Compass originally intended to use the Moto brand across Europe.[4] In 2003, they created a joint venture with Cremonini to introduce the Moto brand across Italy. In total, 31 Italian rest stops were rebranded Moto over a 3-year period.[5] In 2007, Cremonini bought Compass' stake in the joint company, and rebranded the sites to their own brand, Chef Express. Briefly, in the early 2000s, there were also two French sites under the Moto banner.

In 2006, Moto separated from Compass Group and SSP following successful acquisition by a consortium of investors.[6] Macquarie Bank managed Moto until late 2015, when the company was sold to USS.

In 2008, Moto opened a new service station on the A1(M) at Kirk Deighton near Wetherby, Yorkshire.[7] Also in the same year, they purchased Winchester Services from Roadchef, rebranding the sites under their own name.

Redevelopment Project (2021–present)


Moto's second new build services, at M6 junction 1 in Rugby, opened on 30 April 2021. The site introduced a new logo and corporate style - the first full update in the company's history.[8]

Moto is currently in the development stage for its third new build service area at a site located near Sawtry, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire on the A1(M).

In 2021, Moto became a franchisee of Pret A Manger and started adding stores to its busier MSA locations.

In 2022, Moto invested £13.5m in refurbishing 5 of its MSA sites to the new logo and branding, refurbishment of toilet & shower facilities, customer seating areas and food outlets. All these sites had a KFC & Pret added to the food offering. Sites upgraded included Ferrybridge, Reading, Tamworth, Stafford & Donington Park.





Until 2007, Moto sites had an own-brand shop to sell products to travellers. After a trial of WHSmith at select sites was deemed successful, the brand was rolled out to most Moto sites, with some exceptions (Leeming Bar, Tiverton and Todhills).

Also trialled were M&S Foodhalls, which were introduced in 2004 and now feature at most Moto locations.



Other facilities




One site, Lymm, features a barbershop. Previously, Toddington and Leigh Delamere sites also opened but have since closed.

Betting arcades


In 1995, Granada thought that betting arcades would be useful at motorway services:

  • Ladbrokes was the first brand used. Most outlets were closed in 2019.
  • Lucky Coin is Moto's own brand betting arcades. They appear at most sites.
  • Full Hou$e is another Moto brand betting arcade, replacing some outlets of Lucky Coin.
  • &Play is another own brand betting arcade, introduced in 2017.



Most Moto locations have hotels:

  • Travelodge operates at 56 Moto sites.
  • Days Inn is at two Moto sites: Wetherby and Winchester. Winchester Days Inn was opened by Moto but is operated by Welcome Break.

Petrol stations


The petrol stations at Moto sites are variously Esso or BP.

Play areas


Selected Moto sites feature an indoor or outdoor play area within or near the main building. Outdoor play areas used to be more common but have been removed from sites for various reasons. Indoor play areas were first introduced to two service areas, Leigh Delamere Westbound and Donington, in 2016. Another indoor play area opened at Rugby in 2021.

Other operations


Moto operates various franchise outlets at some Extra MSA services. These include M&S Simply Food, Costa Coffee, West Cornwall Pasty Company, Krispy Kreme and Greggs.



Moto won awards for the quality of their internal training programme "Achieve In Moto" (AIM) at the Training Journal Awards in 2017. Moto won Gold in the category "Best Private/Commercial Programme" and also two Silver awards in the categories "Best Talent Development Programme" and "Best Operational Programme".[9]

Moto have won awards for the standards of cleanliness in their public toilets, winning the 'Loo of the Year Award' in 2006 (for the fourth year running).[10]


Moto motorway service areas[11]



See also



  1. ^ Lymm Services, which operates a McDonald's Drive-Thru instead of Burger King, along Leeming Bar, decided to instead house McDonald's drive-thru restaurants due to a contract with Roadchef including McDonalds, Costa Coffee and WHSmith, that decided Extra and Euro Garages, Likewise, fast food brands, such as KFC are often bringing more services as Todhills and Leeming Bar BK's closed


  1. ^ a b "MOTO HOLDINGS LIMITED and subsidiary companies: Annual Report and Financial Statements" (PDF). Moto Services. Retrieved 26 July 2022.
  2. ^ "MOTO HOSPITALITY LIMITED overview - Find and update company information - GOV.UK". Companies House. Retrieved 3 September 2023.
  3. ^ "Legal". Moto Motorway Services. Retrieved 3 September 2023.
  4. ^ Slingsby, Helen (23 May 2001). "Granada gives way to Moto". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  5. ^ "GRUPPO CREMONINI". 22 June 2006. Archived from the original on 22 June 2006. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  6. ^ "Travel catering giant SSP and Moto sold to EQT and Macquarie Bank for £1.822 billion – 09/04/06". Retrieved 1 August 2009.
  7. ^ "New Moto Station to hold open day in Wetherby - Wetherby Today". Retrieved 1 August 2009.
  8. ^ "More than 100 jobs created at UK's first electric vehicle motorway services in Rugby". Coventry Live. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  9. ^ "2017 Winners | TJ Awards". Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  10. ^ "Loo of the Year Awards 2007: National Award Winners". Retrieved 1 August 2009.
  11. ^ Taken from Motorway Services Online