Motor Insurance

Best motorway services – and worst - in UK named

The best – and worst - motorway services in the UK have been named.

Rugby services on the M6 topped the table for the second year running, achieving a 100% satisfaction rate among customers. The Moto-operated site in Warwickshire was rated highly for its food and drink, toilets and friendly staff.

Seven other sites achieved 99% satisfaction to be crowned joint-second best out of 120 services: Killington Lake, Annandale Water, Wetherby, Stafford South, Corley South, Chester and Reading East.

At the opposite end of the table, Hartshead Moor East on the M62 in West Yorkshire was ranked worst for the second year running as well.

More than 30,000 visitors were surveyed by watchdog Transport Focus for the yearly ranking, with the services on the Pennines crossing near Huddersfield receiving a satisfaction rating of 84%.

Its westbound services came second bottom, joint with Toddington North and South on the M1 near Milton Keynes, Bridgwater on the M5 in Somerset, Lancaster South on the M6 and Hartshead Moor West, all with 88% satisfaction.

Transport Focus blamed the construction of new toilets as the reason Hawksmoor faired so poorly, with visitors having to use portable toilets while works were underway.

A spokeswoman for Welcome Break said: "We are disappointed to see Hartshead Moor at the bottom of the list but are incredibly proud of the improvements that Welcome Break has made since last year, with overall satisfaction for Welcome Break increasing by three percentage points to 94%, and toilet satisfaction increasing by six percentage points to 91%.

"During the time of the survey, Hartshead Moor was undergoing improvements and there were temporary toilet facilities in place, but we're now very pleased to say that the site has opened brand new toilets on both sides of the M62, with two new baby changing units, two new accessible toilets and added HGV shower facilities.

"Therefore, we expect to see a considerable improvement in scores for Hartshead Moor in next year's survey."

Many may be wondering where Tebay services ranked. The family-run services in Cumbria is one of the most popular stops in the UK, renowned for serving home cooked food and locally-sourced produce.

Transport Focus said it focussed its research on Moto, Roadchef, Welcome Break and Extra service stations. It said Westmorland, which owns the services, chose not to take part in the survey. Euro Garages and Stop 24 also chose not to take part.

RankServicesRoadOperatorSatisfaction
Best motorway services
1RugbyM6Moto100
=2Killington LakeM6, CumbriaRoadchef99
=2Annandale WaterA74(M), Dumfries and GallowayRoadchef99
=2WetherbyA1(M), West YorksMoto99
=2Stafford SouthM6Roadchef99
=2Corley SouthM6, WarwickshireWelcome Break99
=2ChesterM56, CheshireRoadchef99
=2Reading EastM4Moto99
=9Leeds Skelton LakeM1Extra98
=9FerrybridgeM6, West YorksMoto98
=9Donington ParkM1, DerbyMoto98
=9Northampton NorthM1Roadchef98
=9Burton-in-KendalM6Moto98
=9MaidstoneM20, KentRoadchef98
Worst motorway services
120Hartshead Moor EastM62, West YorksWelcome Break84
=115Toddington NorthM1, BedsMoto88
=115Toddington SouthM1, BedsMoto88
=115BridgwaterM5, SomersetMoto88
=115Hartshead Moor WestM62, West YorksWelcome Break88
=115Lancaster SouthM6Moto88
=111Sedgemoor NorthM5, SomersetWelcome Break89
=111Cardiff GateM4Welcome Break89
=111Sandbach SouthM6, CheshireRoadchef89
=111Membury EastM4, BerksWelcome Break89

Best motorway services toilets

The main reason people stop at motorway services is to use the toilet. And there's nothing more frustrating than finding a disgusting loo when you need to spend a penny!

The best service station operators for toilets, according to the survey, are Extra and Roadchef, receiving 93% satisfaction.

However, there wasn't much in it, with the average at 92% - up from 88% in 2022.

Moto rose 4% from 2022 to hit 92% satisfaction, while Welcome Break soared 6% from 85% to 91% satisfaction in a year.

Best motorway services for value for money

The cost of food and drink was an important factor for motorway services visitors with an average of 64% marking rest stops as fairly or very good.

The worst for value for money for food and drink was Welcome Break, receiving a 54% satisfaction rating.

Extra and Roadchef came joint top with 70%, while Moto came third with 65%.

Transport Focus chief executive Anthony Smith said: "Our survey shows motorway services offer a great experience with friendly and helpful staff and provide drivers with the opportunity to rest, relax and take a break before continuing their journey.

"But there is still room for improvement, including making sure the range of food and drink on offer is good value for money for visitors as cost of living increases continue to bite."

For more details on the best and worst motorway services survey click here.

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Helen Barnett

Helen is a journalist, editor and copywriter with 15 years' experience writing across print and digital publications. She previously edited the Daily Express website and has won awards as a reporter. Read more here.

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