The Daily Telegraph

Worst motorway services in Britain named and shamed

- By Max Stephens

SPENDING hours in a traffic jam on the M62 would make even the dingiest of service stations seem like an oasis.

But Hartshead Moor East services, between junctions 25 and 26, may actually be so bad that even the most caffeine-deprived of drivers would risk holding on for a while.

The West Yorkshire motorway services have been declared Britain’s worst by industry watchdog Transport Focus.

Comments on Trip Advisor, the internet travel site, about its Starbucks and Burger King outlets range from “stale cakes” and “dry burgers” to “appalling” customer service.

One disgruntle­d customer said he was “absolutely astounded by the disgusting attitude of the staff ” while another wrote: “Bored and totally uninterest­ed is a pretty accurate way of describing the ‘Starbucks team’.

“Tables were uncleared and the whole place was scruffy, food on the floor and so on.”

Reviews for Burger King were no kinder. One diner wrote: “The lettuce was brown and old, the bread really dry and crumbly (literally fell into bits) and, even worse, took about 30 mins to be ready.”

Another customer wrote: “If you want Starbucks coffee, stale cake, and... service from a failing 60s service centre, then look no further.”

The Welcome Break-owned site scored 80 per cent for “overall satisfacti­on” in Transport Focus’s survey of 31,000 drivers and 119 motorway services. A spokesman for Welcome Break said it was “very disappoint­ed” with the verdict, adding: “We have received the detailed comments from Transport Focus and we will be working closely with our teams to address the feedback from the report, as well as prioritisi­ng the site for future investment.”

In contrast, Rugby services on the M6 in Warwickshi­re was ranked the best in Britain, with one visitor comparing it to an “oasis” on Tripadviso­r.

Ken Mcmeikan, chief executive of Moto Hospitalit­y, its operator, said high standards of cleanlines­s, its toilets and electric vehicle charging facilities gave it the edge over its competitor­s.

Donington Park on the M1, also owned by Moto, was awarded 99 per cent for customer satisfacti­on.

The average satisfacti­on score given by all users of services was 93 per cent, including 61 per cent who said they were very satisfied. Three per cent said they were very or fairly dissatisfi­ed.

Meanwhile, 31 per cent said they felt tired, stressed or frustrated when they arrived at a services, but just seven per cent felt that way when they left.

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