Watchdog backs motorway services to cut drivers’ stress

Reading westbound services on the M4 has been named England’s top motorway services in a new user survey, which found that visiting services significantly improves the mood of drivers.

Watchdog Transport Focus surveyed all 112 motorway services in England, asking 8,700 customers about facilities such as toilets, staffing and food and drink.

The highest rated services was Reading westbound, operated by Moto, followed by Rivington Services Northbound on the M61 (EuroGarages).

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

The survey found that visits to services typically resulted in a 20 percentage point increase in positive emotions and a 17 percentage point decrease in negative emotions. Transport Focus said this highlighted the beneficial impact motorway services can have on driving standards and safety for drivers.

The survey found nine out of ten (90%) of customers satisfied overall, but fewer than two in three (64%) thought the food or drink available to eat was value for money.

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.’

Transport minister John Hayes, who launched a motorway services taskforce in July, said: ‘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.’

Top motorway services in England

1. Reading Services Westbound (Moto) – M4

2. Rivington Services Northbound (EuroGarages) – M61

3. Corley Services Northbound (Welcome Break) – M6

4. Gloucester Services Southbound (Westmorland) – M5

5. Gloucester Services Northbound (Westmorland)

6. Knutsford Services Southbound (Moto) – M6

7. Norton Canes Services (Roadchef) – M6 Toll

8. Tebay Services Northbound (Westmorland) – M6

9. Tebay Services Southbound (Westmorland) – M6

10. Cobham Services (Extra) – M25.

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