James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Best and worst motorway service stations in UK revealed
3 April 2021, 14:05
The best and worst motorway service areas in the UK have been revealed with a "dirty" and "depressing" station on a key tourist route coming in last.
Service stations up and down the country were awarded star ratings out of five by consumer group Which? based on categories such as cleanliness, range of facilities and prices.
On top of the list was Gloucester services on the M5, which received four stars out of five for each category and a customer score of 86 per cent.
However, just an hour's drive down the road was the nation's worst-ranked service area.
The Moto-owned Bridgwater services on the M5 in Somerset was awarded just one star out of five for all categories and received an overall customer score of just 32 per cent.
Recent visitors described the site as "dirty" and "depressing", while others complained of a urine smell and toilet paper left across the floor.
Another said it "should be demolished".
The location of the Bridgwater and Gloucester services means both are often used by tourists heading to and from Cornwall and Devon for their holidays.
One visitor at Gloucester said it was "as far from a typical motorway stop as you can imagine", with customers praising its "fabulous" farm shop selling home-cooked meals and local produce.
Tebay services on the M6 in Cumbria was ranked second (83 per cent), followed by Cairn Lodge in Lanark, Scotland, on the M74 (69 per cent) and Norton Canes on the M6 Toll in Staffordshire.
The findings were based on around 5,600 experiences by 2,700 consumers at 68 motorway service areas.
Rory Boland, editor of magazine Which? Travel, said: "The results of our survey show that it pays to plan ahead to avoid some of the UK's worst motorway services.
"It could be the difference between a home-cooked meal in peaceful surroundings or crowded queues in downright dirty facilities.
"Whether you're zipping down the M5 towards the beaches on the south-west coast, or up the M6 towards the Scottish border, make sure your journey isn't spoiled by a stop at a shoddy service station."
Moto CEO Ken McMeikan said: "I am appalled by the score at our Bridgwater site.
"This does not reflect the standards we aspire to across all of our sites and I can absolutely guarantee that all of the issues raised will be dealt with immediately to ensure we get Bridgwater back to the standard we know our customers expect and deserve."
Here are the top five, with their customer score in brackets:
- 1. Gloucester (86 per cent)
- 2. Tebay (83 per cent)
- 3. Cairn Lodge (69 per cent)
- 4. Norton Canes (65 per cent)
- 5. Wetherby (61 per cent)
And here are the bottom five:
- 64. Keele (42 per cent)
- 65. Sandbach (42 per cent)
- 66. Newport Pagnell (41 per cent)
- 67. Gordano (40 per cent)
- 68. Bridgwater (32 per cent)