Re­vealed: Bri­tain’s best and worst M- way stops

BUT JUST HOW DOES MID­LANDS FARE IN SER­VICE STA­TION SUR­VEY?

Solihull News - - FAITH MATTERS - PAUL COLE paul. cole@ trin­i­tymir­ror. com

YOU love them or you loathe them – but they’re a nec­es­sary evil. They’re Bri­tain’s mo­tor­way ser­vices.

And now, the very best and the most dis­ap­point­ing have been rated in a na­tion­wide sur­vey of mo­torists.

Bot­tom of the list is He­ston East­bound near Heathrow Air­port, which scored a cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion rat­ing of just 62%.

Judged only slight bet­ter is Stafford South­bound on the M6, here in the Mid­lands, which scored just 70%.

Trans­port Fo­cus sur­veyed 8,700 cus­tomers for their opin­ion on sub­jects such as toi­lets, staffing and food at all 112 ser­vice ar­eas. The re­port found that the best stop­ping- off point in Eng­land is Read­ing Ser­vices West­bound, which earned a score of 100%.

And there was good news on the M6 Toll as well, where Nor­ton Canes – the best in the Mid­lands – scored 99 per cent.

The in­de­pen­dent mo­tor­way ser­vices at Glouces­ter on the M5 and Te­bay on the M6, which boast farm shops and eater­ies sell­ing lo­cal pro­duce, all make the top ten.

AA president Ed­mund King said: “Bri­tish drivers have a love- hate re­la­tion­ship with ser­vice ar­eas de­pend­ing on where they are, how busy they are and how ex­pen­sive they are.

“We need to at­tract drivers to stop be­cause some 10 per cent of fa­tal­i­ties on mo­tor­ways are due to driver fa­tigue.

“For some peo­ple, be­ing able to get a de­cent, dis­counted cof­fee is all that they ask for, and that might just en­hance their safety.”

On av­er­age, across all ser­vice sta­tions, 90 per cent of cus­tomers said they were sat­is­fied with their visit, al­though just 64 per cent thought the food or drink was value for money.

Trans­port Fo­cus chief ex­ec­u­tive An­thony Smith said: “Our re­search shows that up and down the coun­try mo­tor­way ser­vices are pro­vid­ing cus­tomers with a good ex­pe­ri­ence and are play­ing a pos­i­tive role in help­ing them rest and recharge be­fore con­tin­u­ing to drive.

“They tell us they feel less stressed and are more awake af­ter a good break.

“Mo­tor­way ser­vice op­er­a­tors must not rest on their lau­rels, how­ever. Our mes­sage is clear: use the re­sults to de­liver even higher lev­els of cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion in fu­ture.”

A spokesman for Moto, which op­er­ates both He­ston and Read­ing ser­vices, said: “We’re dis­ap­pointed that the visit to He­ston East was done in the mid­dle of build­ing works, al­though we recog­nise that in this in­stance we haven’t done as well as we should have done.

“He­ston East is one of the small­est ser­vice ar­eas on the mo­tor­way net­work and so is un­able to pro­vide many of the fa­cil­i­ties we have at our larger sites.”

The Mid­lands’ best ser­vice sta­tion Nor­ton Canes, M6 Toll and, be­low, He­ston East­bound near Heathrow Air­port was bot­tom of the UK list

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