Cobham Service Area on the M25 in Surrey has opened today, knocking Shell Beaconsfield on the M40 in Buckinghamshire off the top spot as the UK’s largest filling station.

With 36 forecourt pumps and six dedicated high-speed HGV pumps totalling 141 nozzles, Cobham can serve around 3,400 cars a day. The site is the largest in terms of number of pumps and volume of available fuel.

The filling station, with its own dedicated junction, opens for business following a £75m investment made by Extra MSA Group, in conjunction with Shell and its other major tenant partners.

The new forecourt has been built to cater for the 150,000 vehicles that travel on the M25 every day, and plugs what was a 63-mile gap between the existing filling stations on this section of the motorway network. Accessible from both sides of the M25, it is conveniently located midway between Heathrow and Gatwick.

Aside from fuel, the site also expects to sell about 210 litres of coffee and up to 300 snacks a day. The fuel tanks on site have the capacity to store over a million litres of fuel, and up to 10,000 vehicles per day are expected to use the wider facilities at the Cobham Service Area.

David Wood, marketing manager at Shell UK Retail, said: “We are committed to ensuring more and more drivers have access to quality fuels and great customer service. At Shell Cobham, motorists can benefit not just from filling up but from the fantastic facilities on offer at the forecourt including helpful forecourt attendants, Costa Express Coffee, freshly made baguettes and hot and cold snacks from Shell’s award-winning Deli2go range.

“The new Shell station is also the only site on the M25 to sell autogas (automotive liquefied petroleum gas) to drivers,” he added. “It also has three Adblue pumps, a solution designed to help reduce the nitrogen oxide content of diesel engine exhaust emissions. AdBlue is not currently widely available in the UK.”

The launch of Shell Cobham is part of a huge 2012 investment programme for Shell, which has seen the company commit to bringing quality fuels, food on the move and customer service to more UK motorists than ever. By the end of the year, Shell expects to have opened an additional 250 sites and introduced 400 forecourt attendants to nearly 300 of its company-owned sites. Such is the scale of expansion that 15 Deli2go products are now bought every minute of the day across all of Shell’s sites in the UK.

Andrew Long, CEO of Extra group, said: “Extra is proud to be working with Shell on this exciting new Service Area. As with all of Extra’s tenant partners, Shell is committed to high standards of customer service. The whole Cobham Service Area fulfils a substantial need for new facilities on this section on the motorway network.

“In addition to the Shell station, the new 60 acre Cobham Service Area also offers a range of big brand retail and food outlets including McDonalds, Starbucks, Greggs, M&S and KFC as well as a Days Inn Hotel, Regus Business Centre and attractively landscaped external seating areas overlooking a man-made lake.”