Bunhill: Clacket Lane

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The Independent Online
THERE'S an ironic post- script to my piece last week on Clacket Lane, Europe's biggest motorway service station, which Road Chef opens this week near Tandridge, Surrey, on the M25.

Its claim to fame is that it is the only pit stop between the Channel ports and Birmingham. Five thousand motorists and truckers a day are expected to seek relief against its plentiful porcelain.

Which is all rather unfortunate for the locals. Because Clacket Lane, which has almost every facility known to man - amusement arcade, tourist information kiosk, restaurants galore - doesn't yet have mains sewerage. And planning problems mean any link-up is months, possibly years away.

Meanwhile, the waste will have to be taken away by tanker to a sewage works at nearby Godstone. Or, to be more precise tankers. Plural. Seven a day. The Godstone works is having to open on Saturdays and Sundays to cope with the extra 22,000 gallons.

'It's disgraceful,' splutters one local. 'Road Chef pretend to be environmentally responsible by planting a few trees, and then they do this.'