The A1 truckstop at Colsterworth is a popular stopping off point for the masses of trucks pounding one of the key truck roads from London to the north and Scotland. A visit there and it’s easy to see why.
The family-run concern, owners Albert and Margaret White have declined offers to sell up when big money has been put on the table. Accordingly, ex-trucker Albert has grown the business and it remains a traditional and quality truckstop for drivers to eat and park up.
Says Tina Rodgers, manager: “There is parking for up to 240 trucks, including a recently opened overflow area, and although the site does fill up, it’s rare you won’t actually get a space, but there are usually 200 trucks parked of a night, Mondays to Thursday.”
Over 100 drivers can sit down at any one time to enjoy a wide range of fresh, home cooked food. Adds Margaret: “All the food is all cooked on the premises”, and there are no deliveries of mass-produced, uninspiring ready meals. All the traditional favourites drivers like will be found on the menu alongside a selection of lighter and healthier options such as salads and quiche – which are becoming increasingly more popular. “One thing I won’t do is be stingy on the portions,” adds Margaret. “The menu goes down really well. All meals are hearty and fresh, and affordable.”
Adds Tina: “Some of the younger drivers like the healthier options, such as rice or Chicken Tikka. We also offer sweet and sour chicken, curry, quiche as well as lasagne and pies.”
Food is available from 0600 to 2200 Mondays to Fridays, ad 0700-1400 on Saturdays and 0800-1600 on Sundays. There is a bar open from 1700 to 2300 and that will also serve late hot food, but not the full menu, but you will get a burger and chips, so you won’t starve if you do turn up after 2200. In the bar is a TV, which has Sky Sports and BT sports.
Breakfasts are available all day with six different options, including a vegetarian choice – all of which are six items with two rounds of toast or bread & butter. All are just £4.85. On top of that are the 8-item Belt Buster (£5.40), the 10-item Mega Monty (£5.90) and finally the 12-item A1 Monty at £6.60, which is a challenging plateful for the hungriest of drivers. The diner gets through 3,500 eggs a week!
There is no charge for two hours of parking, but overnight parking is £16 a night, and with that you get a £3 meal voucher and a free shower. In 2013 the shower block was revamped, a major factor in it winning TSN’s coveted ‘Truckstop of the Year’ award for 2014.
The site as it is now opened in 2000 and has steadily expanded. It now features an automated truck wash (open 0700-1700) while the initial single fuel pump has long been consigned to history and there are now five twin pumps and room for six trucks to fill at the same time. There are five AdBlue pumps plus one Gas Oil for refrigerated lorries to fill. The diesel fuel is all bunkered, and the site takes UK Fuels, Keyfuels and Morgan Fuel cards but AdBlue and gas oil can be purchased direct for cash or debit cards from the office located next to the pumps. In March 2015, new faster pumps were installed.
Coming very soon will be an accessory shop which will sell cleaning products, lights, in-cab equipment such as kettles, microwaves, gas bottles and all other bits drivers want or need for a life on the road or to customise their trucks. There is also talk of a pop up barber joining the site!
There is 24 hour CCTV and the parking area is manned overnight. Being such a big site, there is always someone around to give drivers a better feeling of safety. There is separate section for fridge trailer to park while wide and heavy loads can easily be accommodated.
The relatively recent remodelling of the A1 at the Colsterworth Junction cut out the roundabouts has helped the truckstop, as it makes it easier for the trucks to get in and, especially, out of the site.
It’s not a just haven for truckers; coaches are welcomed – although advance notice of their arrival is helpful – but there are lots of bikers, cyclists and even locals who use the site. Savvy families who realise the food is twice as good and half the price of a Motorway service area also call in and are more than welcomed.
A1 Truckstop, Bourne Road, Colsterworth, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG33 5JN