Best and worst motorway service areas identified

A venue on a key tourist route serving the South West has been ranked the worst in Britain.

Best and worst motorway service areas identified

A motorway service area on a key tourist route has been named the worst in Britain.

Bridgwater services on the M5 in Somerset was awarded just one star out of five for all categories analysed by consumer group Which?, including cleanliness, range of facilities and prices.

The Moto-owned site received an overall customer score of just 32%.

Recent visitors described the venue as “dirty” and “depressing”, and others complained of a urine smell and toilet paper strewn on the floor.

Another claimed it “should be demolished”.

At the other end of the scale, Gloucester services – an hour’s drive up the M5 – was ranked number one.

It received four of five stars for all categories, with a customer score of 86%.

One visitor 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%), followed by Cairn Lodge in Lanark on the M74 (69%) 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%)
2. Tebay (83%)
3. Cairn Lodge (69%)
4. Norton Canes (65%)
5. Wetherby (61%)

– And here are the bottom five:
64. Keele (42%)
65. Sandbach (42%)
66. Newport Pagnell (41%)
67. Gordano (40%)
68. Bridgwater (32%)

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