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Where is England's top motorway service station?

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The M4 Reading westbound services has been voted England’s top motorway service station.

The survey by the independent transport user watchdog, Transport Focus, asked 8,700 customers for their views on toilets, staffing and food at all of England’s 112 services.

However, the results also revealed that 84% of HGV drivers are not satisifed with the station and want better facilities, at cheaper prices

Drivers had this to say about the service station:

  • “We have had excellent service from the staff at Costa. We will be back again on the way back, breaks up the journey.”
  • “A sanctuary from the traffic jam on the M1”
  • “Better facilities for HGV drivers as we do long hours and deserve good quality facilities at a reasonable price.”
  • “It’s ok. Same as any - expensive but handy.”

Drivers were also asked what impact visiting the motorway services had on their mood on arrival and then leaving the services.

The independent watchdog Transport Focus’ chief executive Anthony Smith said: “Our research shows that up and down the country motorway services are providing customers with a good experience and are playing a positive role in helping them rest and recharge before continuing to drive.

"They tell us they feel less stressed and are more awake after a good break.

“Motorway service operators must not rest on their laurels however; our message is clear – use the results to deliver even higher levels of customer satisfaction in future.

“Ensuring that visitors feel their experience is worth the money paid, that the choice of food is good and the services are welcoming and well-maintained are important areas for motorway service operators to watch.”

Transport Minister John Hayes said: “Motorways services can and should be lovely places for drivers to enjoy not just places they have to stop.

“Congratulations to those scoring the most highly. They show what can be done when what motorists want and deserve drives what is on offer.

“But users’ needs and expectations are constantly evolving. Now I want to go much further to raise and meet those expectations.

“My new taskforce will bring together industry and independent experts to look at how services can be fit for future motorists and reflect the particularity of localities which host these important facilities.

“Thoughtful design and a range of goods and services can make all motorway services as good as the best.”

The survey found:

  1. Overall 90% of customers were satisfied with their visit
  2. 90% of visitors were satisfied with the cleanliness of the toilets
  3. 64% of visitors thought the food or drink available to eat in the services was value for money
  4. The friendliness of staff was rated good by 94% of visitors
  5. Professional visitors, such as HGV drivers, were least satisfied at 84%
  6. Visits to motorway services typically resulted in a 20% increase in positive emotions and a 17% decrease in negative emotions 

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