Fleet Services Access (M3)

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
maxglide
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Fleet Services Access (M3)

Postby maxglide » 25 Apr 2019, 11:32am

Approaching the M3 from the north, is it possible to enter Fleet Services from Rotten Green, walk with the bike over the pedestrian bridge, then exfil to Elvetham?

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mjr
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Re: Fleet Services Access (M3)

Postby mjr » 25 Apr 2019, 12:35pm

Legally no, as there are private roads (with no entry except authorised signs) and I wouldn't be surprised if some roads in those services were considered motorways. In practice, the northern entrance looks easy, but the southern one is a long road through woods bordered by high fences with no recent pictures to see if there are gates.

I probably wouldn't try it. Are the neighbouring road crossings that bad? But I can see they've annoyingly got extra width set to grass instead of providing cycleways and footways.
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pete75
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Re: Fleet Services Access (M3)

Postby pete75 » 25 Apr 2019, 12:59pm

maxglide wrote:Approaching the M3 from the north, is it possible to enter Fleet Services from Rotten Green, walk with the bike over the pedestrian bridge, then exfil to Elvetham?


Looking at Streetview you can get in from the north via Pale Lane easily enough but there's a high wooden fence on the south side which appears to block off all access to Elvetham. The only way to really find out is to go and have a look.

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mjr
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Re: Fleet Services Access (M3)

Postby mjr » 25 Apr 2019, 1:41pm

pete75 wrote:
maxglide wrote:Approaching the M3 from the north, is it possible to enter Fleet Services from Rotten Green, walk with the bike over the pedestrian bridge, then exfil to Elvetham?


Looking at Streetview you can get in from the north via Pale Lane easily enough but there's a high wooden fence on the south side which appears to block off all access to Elvetham. The only way to really find out is to go and have a look.

The south exit looks like partly the original route of Pale Lane before some tit cut it in two with a huge road. https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/83626777 http://www.npemap.org.uk/tiles/map.html#479,155,1
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Re: Fleet Services Access (M3)

Postby rjb » 25 Apr 2019, 1:46pm

Can't speak for fleet, but the Sedgemoor services on the M5 have similar issues. It is used by cyclists, less now since several of the cafes close overnight. Access isvia the services road which is noticed with signs saying authorised vehicles only. So pushing your bike ie walking should be possible.
Locals have used it when they run short of groceries as it saves a long drive to the nearest shops but occasionally they get caught in a police trap there when they drive through. The services themselves are not motorways as the signage reminds you when entering, if you go slow enough to read them. :lol:
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LinusR
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Re: Fleet Services Access (M3)

Postby LinusR » 25 Apr 2019, 1:53pm

That looks like a handy little place to stop on a ride - toilet facilities and eats. I might nip in there next time I'm in Hampshire. Getting in and out on foot or cycle would be a doddle. That's probably how some of the - underpaid - staff who live locally get in or out. I'm sure you could wheel your bike through and across the footbridge no problem. It would also make a handy Audax overnight control - get a till receipt. Nice find.

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LinusR
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Re: Fleet Services Access (M3)

Postby LinusR » 25 Apr 2019, 1:55pm

Another useful stop is South Mimms services at the junction of A1(M) and M25 - easy (legal) access in and out on foot or by cycle.

maxglide
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Re: Fleet Services Access (M3)

Postby maxglide » 25 Apr 2019, 3:31pm

I probably wouldn't try it. Are the neighbouring road crossings that bad?


Not particularly, but I like modding my regular routes. Mainly, it would avoid the awful Minley Road and all who sail on her. When cycling through the toy-town Elvetham Heath, with its Dutch cycle paths, Fleet Services is tantalizingly close.

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Sweep
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Re: Fleet Services Access (M3)

Postby Sweep » 26 Apr 2019, 6:32am

I thought all motorway services had "back entries" for staff etc. Otherwise they would have to often make substantially longer journeys up motorways, driving miles out of the way to get on and then possibly get stuck in motorway jams. I know two on the m25 like that.
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Re: Fleet Services Access (M3)

Postby thirdcrank » 26 Apr 2019, 7:16am

Sweep wrote:I thought all motorway services had "back entries" for staff etc. Otherwise they would have to often make substantially longer journeys up motorways, driving miles out of the way to get on and then possibly get stuck in motorway jams. I know two on the m25 like that.


Those to which the only public access is from the motorway - ie the majority - do have service roads, but they are for authorised users only. ie They are not additional motorway access or crossing points. AFAIK, Some of those service roads were formed from existing local roads severed by the motorway.

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mjr
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Re: Fleet Services Access (M3)

Postby mjr » 26 Apr 2019, 7:42am

thirdcrank wrote:Those to which the only public access is from the motorway - ie the majority - do have service roads, but they are for authorised users only. ie They are not additional motorway access or crossing points. AFAIK, Some of those service roads were formed from existing local roads severed by the motorway.

"Formed" is a nice way of saying "stolen from other users".

If there is a bridge, could one side's service road be more solidly blocked? That's the worry at Fleet.

Sometimes the service roads become new motorway junctions, such as Northampton Swan Valley M1 J15A, then the motorway restriction gets cut back to allow all users at access new developments adjacent. These are among the worst roads for cycling on IMO.
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AndyK
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Re: Fleet Services Access (M3)

Postby AndyK » 26 Apr 2019, 12:41pm

Sweep wrote:I thought all motorway services had "back entries" for staff etc. Otherwise they would have to often make substantially longer journeys up motorways, driving miles out of the way to get on and then possibly get stuck in motorway jams. I know two on the m25 like that.

Further down the M3 Winchester Services (a relatively recent one opened in 2001) has no access roads. Theoretically it has emergency services access gates on both sides, but in reality both are locked and well-blocked by undergrowth now, or were last time I looked. (There's a nice byway through the woods alongside the perimeter fence of the southbound services.) I suspect the "authorised users only" access road is one of the things that used to be required for motorway service stations but no longer are.
A rear access, better known as a 'secret exit', also known as a 'rear exit' or 'side exit', is a road which allows people to get from the service area to the local road network without using the main entrance (a motorway sliproad).

Initially they were very popular and were included in all of the early services, but too many people were using them as makeshift motorway junctions, which neither the services nor the surrounding roads were built to handle.

As of April 2008, secret exits are discouraged and new ones should be physically separated from the rest of the service area to stop people using them as a shortcut.

- https://motorwayservicesonline.co.uk/Rear_Access

The services on the A34 trunk road at Sutton Scotney have private access roads that I know are regularly used by locals looking for the shortest route onto the A34. While there are warning signs, nobody seems particularly bothered.

As for Fleet, Wikipedia has (would you believe it) a potted history of the Northern access point, the "Fleet Cheat". As it's now protected by ANPR cameras it doesn't seem there's much to stop a cyclist using it, but that still leaves the question of the access road on the south side. I'm fairly sure the footbridge is only accessible from within the service station buildings, so it's likely that anyone trying to take a bike through would get stopped by security before they even reached the bridge.

Trivia fact of the day: the footbridge at Fleet Services is officially called the Scott Mills Bridge in honour of the Radio 1 DJ. 8)

Just out of interest, I see there are publicly-accessible tracks across the MoD land about a mile east of Fleet Services, including a route over a bridge across the motorway. Anyone know what they're like?

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LinusR
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Re: Fleet Services Access (M3)

Postby LinusR » 26 Apr 2019, 1:33pm

AndyK wrote:I'm fairly sure the footbridge is only accessible from within the service station buildings, so it's likely that anyone trying to take a bike through would get stopped by security before they even reached the bridge.


I doubt if security would care about someone wheeling a bike across the footbridge from within the services. The reason there is a perimeter fence, gates and no entry signs is to stop drivers using it as a way of entering and exiting the motorway illegally and creating a rat-run. Pedestrians and cyclists are not the concern - it is the movement of motorised traffic causing a nuisance that would concern the local highway and planning authority, and local residents.

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Re: Fleet Services Access (M3)

Postby AndyK » 26 Apr 2019, 2:44pm

LinusR wrote:
AndyK wrote:I'm fairly sure the footbridge is only accessible from within the service station buildings, so it's likely that anyone trying to take a bike through would get stopped by security before they even reached the bridge.


I doubt if security would care about someone wheeling a bike across the footbridge from within the services. The reason there is a perimeter fence, gates and no entry signs is to stop drivers using it as a way of entering and exiting the motorway illegally and creating a rat-run. Pedestrians and cyclists are not the concern - it is the movement of motorised traffic causing a nuisance that would concern the local highway and planning authority, and local residents.

There speaks a man who's never tried to wheel a bike through an indoor shopping centre. :-)

I was thinking of inside the service building, rather than the bridge itself or the car park. Push your bike through the coffee franchises and the Burger King queue in an attempt to reach the stairs and you'll start to attract attention. I reckon the biggest concern for security in those places is the behaviour of the travellers inside the service station, not outside it, so that's where the security guard will be.

Let's persuade maxglide to try it and we can place bets on he far he/she gets. :D