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Best and worst of the UK’s motorway service stations

A comprehensive survey conducted by Transport Focus has identified the best and worst motorway service stations in the United Kingdom.



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Some 112 motorway service stations are spread across the UK. These facilities generally cover a large area and offer a wide range of services – from different food options to shops, car wash services and large petrol stations.

Transport Focus interviewed around 8,700 customers on key factors including staff treatment, food, toilets and other services.

Reading Services Westbound in Berkshire took the prize as the nation’s favourite motorway service station, while Heston Services Eastbound in Middlesex suffered the worst ratings.

“Motorway service areas play an important role in the experience of those using the Highways England road network to make long distance journeys,” writes Jeff Halliwell, Chairman of Transport Focus, in the report.

The very best

  1. Reading Services Westbound - M4 in Berkshire
  2. Rivington Services Northbound - M61 in Bolton, Lancashire
  3. Corley Services Northbound - M6 in Warwickshire
  4. Gloucester Services Southbound - M5 in Gloucestershire
  5. Gloucester Services Northbound - M5 in Gloucestershire

The worst five

  1. Toddington Services Southbound - M1 in Bedfordshire
  2. Rownhams Services Northbound - M27 in Southampton, Hampshire
  3. Rownhams Services Southbound - M27 in Southampton, Hampshire
  4. Stafford Services Southbound - M6 in Staffordshire
  5. Heston Services Eastbound - M4 in Hounslow, Middlesex

The study found that two thirds of the motorway service station visitors were travelling for leisure purposes, while 18% were travelling on business and 7% were commuters. The remaining 11% were professional visitors; those who drive for a living, such as HGV and delivery drivers.

For all visitors, using the toilet facilities (77% of visitors used a toilet) and getting something to eat and drink were key reasons for deciding to stop.

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