Revealed: Britain’s best and worst M- way stops
BUT JUST HOW DOES MIDLANDS FARE IN SERVICE STATION SURVEY?
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