Ashford International Truckstop (AIT) is one of the biggest and well-known truckstops in the UK and unlike many, it’s a bespoke site geared up solely for truck drivers – security is such that car drivers need a good excuse for using the facilities!
Everything a truck driver needs is available here and a vast menu range in a clean cafeteria makes it a nice place to stop for a meal or an overnight stay.
AIT sys it aims “to create a home-away-from-home environment. From keeping you comfortable with quality conveniences through our facilities and services, to a high level of security ensuring you and your cargo are safe, there is good reason we are drivers’ number-one truck stop in the South of England.”
The site has parking for 250 trucks, but currently due to issues in the South East over trucks parking in lay-bys and industrial estates, it is filling up every night.
There is certainly no shortage of meal choice at AIT for drivers calling in at any time of the day. The traditional ‘fry up’ breakfast menu starts with the Trucker’s Deluxe which is eight items for just £6. The Trucker’s Meal Deal is five items at £5.80 and the smaller Truck Stop Breakfast is £5.25 for four items – all these three include a tea or coffee plus toast. The items choices are eggs, bacon, sausages, baked beans, tomatoes, mushrooms or hash browns.
If these do not appeal, then you can order a Continental breakfast at £5.25, scrambled egg or baked beans on toast for £2.99, a hot filled sandwich for £3.40 or a similar hot filled baguette for £3.90. Two slices of toast with butter is 80p while cereal portions are £1.80, muffins £1.40, pastries £1.40 and biscuits 75p.
Tea is £1.30 while coffee – all types – is £1.80. A can of pop is 85p, and water is £1.40. Other drinks such as milk, fruit juices and squash are also available.
Toasted Paninis, all of which are served with salad and crisps, are £4.70 for ham and cheese, cheese and tomato, cheese and bacon, cheese and onion or tuna melt.
The burger menu is also vast and starts at £6.99 for a plain beef burger and also includes cheeseburgers, bacon and cheeseburgers, mushroom & stilton beef burger, breaded chicken burger, veggie burger, Tex Mex veggie, Tex Mex beef, the Southern Toploader and – at £9.95, the impressive Road Train burger. For an £1.50 you can add an extra 6oz beef burger. All are served with salad, fresh homemade coleslaw and beef steak chips. All burgers are made on the premises.
The main menu includes typical truckers’ favourites such as rump steak, curries, gammon and fish and chips, as well as breaded pork escalopes, roast chicken, kebab, pasta of the day, mixed grills, chicken kievs, scampi and Southern fried chicken. Prices vary but are typically in the £7-10 bracket and come with chips or rice. There is also a vegetarian meal of the day at £6.95.
If you want a lighter main meal, hen AIT also offers its own pizzas freshly baked on site. They are cheese, chicken & bacon or pepperoni, which cost £6.95 or £7.25.
The £6 voucher menu includes Southern fried chicken, breaded plaice or an omelette with your choice of two fillings (mushrooms, ham, cheese, onions or peppers), and all are served with beef steak chips.
Jacket Potatoes can be plain with butter (£4.20), cheese and beans (£4.80), cheese and bacon (£4.80) or tuna mayonnaise (£5.25) while you can also order a salad (£4.99) or soup with a crusty roll (£2.95).
Side orders are available with any meal, and include a bowl of chips, curly fries, cheesy chips or wedges, garlic or cheesy garlic bread, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, onion rings and peppercorn or creamy mushroom sauce.
There is as a daily chef’s special and also a carvery available from 1700 on Monday to Thursday and on Sunday from 1200. One course is £7.95 and two is £9.95. Both the restaurant and shop are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
AIT offers secure premises with an extensive range of facilities and services. You can park for two hours for free if you are just having a meal or taking your 45-minute break.
For up to 24 hours Monday-Sunday, the charge is £29.50 which includes a £6 mal voucher, full use of amenities and a free shower. Each additional 24-hour period or part thereof is £29.50.
Dropped trailers can be stored for £33.50 for each 24 hours or part thereof. AIT staff will secure the unit. Again this fee includes a £6 voucher and full use of amenities and a free shower.
The charge for a two-day weekend stay is £54 for Saturday and Sunday only which includes two £6 meal vouchers.
The floodlit parking area is on hard standing and has a good surface. The site benefits from protection by a manned security barrier, a seven-foot security fence with barbed-wire overhang, motion-sensitive LED spotlights, infrared, motion-sensitive CCTV and security patrols. You will certainly feel safe and secure here!
AIT will set up a parking account for any fleet customers which then gives the employer a monthly invoice. There is also a Truck Stop Loyalty Card which is available to non-account customers. This means if you park at the site 12 times, you get the 13th parking for half the price.
There are a range of facilities available at AIT such as a trailer change-over area, refrigerated loads area, hazardous loads area, vehicle repairs, extra wide or long loads can be accommodated, battery jump-start equipment and gritting equipment to assist entry and exit during icy conditions. AIT also boasts a premium truck wash on-site.
The site also offers accommodation of £42 for a single bedroom and £56 for a twin bedroom, and that includes parking and a meal vouchers.
Showers are charged at £2 but are free to all parking customers. AIT also has a gym, which commands a £9.95 joining fee.
There is also a bar selling Foster’s, John Smiths, Kronenbourg, Murphy’s and Symonds Cider, plus brandy, whisky and vodka plus house wines.
There is a wide range of facilities available at AIT, including a shop, bar and restaurant, fitness gym, lounge and TV area, cinema TV, cash machine, telephone, Internet access with free wi-fi, currency exchange, eurovignette machine, laundry service, washing machines, and tumble dryers and ironing facilities.
There are 12 male showers and five female showers and all facilities, including the toilets and showers, are open 24 hours a day.
Overall, AIT is a good site, well geared u for truck drivers and while it is busy, it is worth stopping at, it’s clean, safe and vibrant.
Ashford International Truckstop
Waterbrook Avenue, Ashford TN24 0GB
Tel: 01233 502919