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Picket Post
Picket Post.jpg
Name Picket Post
Number 685
Year Opened 1996/97
Year Closed 2012
Road A31
Location Ringwood
County Hampshire
Postcode BH24 3HN

The Picket Post branch was a former Little Chef restaurant located on the eastbound side of the A31 near Ringwood, Hampshire.

Address and Onsite Facilities[]

ADDRESS: A31 Eastbound, Ringwood, Hampshire, BH24 3HN

ONSITE FACILITIES: Shell, Select (forecourt), Costa Express, McDonald's

For more information, visit Motorway Services Online

History[]

The site dates back to the 1970s, when a Shell service station was built on the westbound side of the A31. However, despite the site being accessible to both sides of the road, via a gap in the dual carriageway, it was evident that with rising traffic levels, coupled with the dangerous right turn to access the services, that this wouldn't be suitable for the long term. As a result, an eastbound service station was built in 1986, sporting a Happy Eater restaurant, a chain recently acquired by Little Chef's owners, Forte, and a filling station. The right turn was replaced with an underpass.

In the 1990s, Forte came to the conclusion that out of Little Chef and Happy Eater, Little Chef was more lucrative than Happy Eater. As a result, a majority of the Happy Eater restaurants in the estate were converted into Little Chef restaurants by Forte and later Granada between 1993 and 1997. The Happy Eater at Picket Post became a Little Chef by 1997.

Despite being set back from the A31, Picket Post was a popular stop given its location on a major route used frequently by holidaymakers, as well as being located within the New Forest National Park. Furthermore, the lack of alternative service stations nearby made it an attractive stop for long distance traffic.

However in 2012, RCapital announced the closure of 67 Little Chef restaurants which were deemed to be underperforming, one of which was Picket Post. The restaurant closed in February 2012 and the site was later taken over by McDonald's in 2014.




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