|Location||Abington, South Lanarkshire|
The Abington North branch was a former Little Chef on the A74 dual carriageway just south of the village of Abington, Scotland.
Already sporting one successful A74 site at Gretna, Forte decided to expand operations on the road and picked Abington as its next spot. This made sense as the village was just south of the crucial fork in the road where the Edinburgh and Glasgow roads came together to meet the road to the south. Thus all traffic could be captured. Little Chef chose the northbound side next to the existing Valleyfield filling station as their site and the restaurant opened between 1968 and 1972.
Such was the success of the site that in 1980/81 a sister site was added to serve the southbound traffic, creating Little Chef's first dual sided site in Scotland. In fact the A74 proved very successful Little Chef territory with Little Chef adding another dual sider at Johnstonebridge, about 20 miles further south, in 1985/6.
With the road becoming so busy it wasn't long before the idea of a motorway upgrade was mooted with the section from Abington going south opening around 1993/4. However, a new grade separated junction has been built just to the north of Abington village at the Glasgow/ Edinburgh fork and Forte had gained planning permission for a new motorway service area there. Thus, in 1992/3 it closed both Abington Little Chefs and opened a Welcome Break motorway service area instead. However, as well as sporting Welcome Break's Granary restaurant, there was also a Little Chef inside so Little Chef lived on in Abington.
Today, the original Little Chef building at Abington North and the Valleyfield petrol station have been demolished. However, the ground still remains undeveloped and the original car park and petrol station area all remain, allbeit slightly overgrown. Some old outbuildings remain too and, on inspection, these still contain the old tables, chairs, lampshades and some of the old awnings from the Little Chef too. However, redevelopment of the site is planned so these are unlikely to remain for much longer