Transport Focus, the transport passenger watchdog, has recently posted the results of their third annual Motorway Services User Survey, revealing Severn View Services on the M48 in Gloucestershire as England’s worst service station.
The survey asked 11,600 passengers and motorists their opinions on 111 service stations across the country, with key factors being assessed, including cleanliness, food and drink range and friendliness of staff. Value for money, speed of service and amount of seating were also considered, as well as the safety, layout and road surface of the car park.
Severn View, ran by Moto, received an overall satisfaction score of just 72%, which is lower than any other facility on the survey. This comes mere months after the facility was hit with heavy criticism on customer review platforms, with many visitors describing it as run-down and “falling apart.” It is also the second year in a row that a Moto-owned site has finished bottom of the survey.
Other sites receiving a poor score include Burtonwood on the M62 (Cheshire), Cullompton on the M5 (Devon), Frankley Southbound on the M5 (Worcestershire) and Charnock Richard Southbound on the M6 (Lancashire).
However, Transport Focus say that motorway service operators performed well overall, with almost two-thirds of the country’s service stations achieving satisfaction scores at least 90%. The friendliness of staff was rated as good by 90% of visitors and 89% of visitors were satisfied with the cleanliness of toilets. However, almost half of visitors felt that the food and drink they bought was poor value for money.
Anthony Smith, Chief Executive of Transport Focus, says that despite having areas for improvement, motorway service stations are being maintained to a good standard and are still working effectively: “Motorway users tell us they have a good experience when visiting service areas, but it’s clear that many do not feel the experience is good value for money. They want pleasant, well-maintained facilities with good quality food choices.”
Smith added that drivers felt less stressed after stopping at motorway services, showing they continue to play an important role for road safety; providing the opportunity for drivers to take a break while on the road.
For the second year running, the survey was topped by the Norton Canes Roadchef on the M6 toll road in Staffordshire, scoring an impressive 99% satisfaction rating.