A freeway gas station overlooking the Severn Bridge has been named the worst in England after visitors criticized the unwelcome exterior 1960s and "grim and gloomy" toilets.
Severn View services on the M48 in Gloucestershire – near the village of Aust north of Bristol – attracted a customer satisfaction rating of just 72% in a survey of facilities offered by 1[ads1]11 service stations across the English motorway network.
Norton Canes (Road Manager) services between junctions 6 and 7 of the M6 toll road in Staffordshire were considered the best for the second consecutive year in the study of the independent watchdog Transport Focus.
The results were published on Thursday in the watchdog's third annual Motorway Services User Survey, in which 11,600 drivers were asked questions such as the condition of the buildings and toilets, food and drink and staff friendliness.
Overall, the motorway operators performed well: 90% of the visitors said that they were satisfied with the experience and the facilities on offer. However, HGV drivers and others who live to live were the least satisfied group at 83%, down from 88% last year.
Many users complained about being dragged by food and drink for overpriced. Only 59% rated the food they bought eating on the premises as value for money – down from 66% last year, which calls for more variety and healthier choices.
Anthony Smith, CEO of Transport Focus, said: “Motorway users tell us that they have a good experience when they visit service areas, but it is clear that many do not feel the experience is good value for money. They want nice and well-maintained facilities with good quality food choices.
"Motorway services still play an important safety role, giving drivers the opportunity to take a break. Drivers confirm that they feel less stressed and are more alert after stopping at highway services. ”
Severn View Services, owned by operator Moto, is one of the smallest highway services in the network. It has attracted a number of critical Google reviews; one user claimed it was "tired and overdue refit" and another that the restaurant had "flies buzzing about". Other reviewers described the toilet facilities as "bleak", "falling apart" and "bleak".
Moto said: "We are disappointed that Severn View came off the bottom of the list this year despite scoring 90% for the friendliness of its staff. Its small location means we are limited in the range of brands and services that we can offer.
"However, we will make a double effort in the year ahead to improve the services offered at Severn View and expect to see a similar significant improvement to the one we achieved at Thurrock last year."
Thurrock , which was recently refurbished, is the site with the biggest increase in satisfaction – up to 93% this year from 68% in 2018 when it bottomed out.
Luke Bosdet, an AA spokesman, said: " Motorway service areas have long encountered a picture battle with motorists using them, on the one hand, they are a sacred gift for toilet breaks, relief from monotonous hours on the highway and the chance for a nap or wake up coffee. use them in summer one and the strain that can exert the service area leave the drivers with a bad impression. ”
The Best and Worst
Top Five (Name and Ranking of Location, Operator and Customer Satisfaction)
1. Norton Canes (M6 toll), Road Manager, 99%
2. Heston Westbound (M4), Moto, 99%
3. Gloucester southbound (M5), Westmorland 99%
4. Stafford northbound (M6), Moto, 99%
5. South Mimms (M25), Welcome Break, 99%
107. Charnock Richard, southbound (M6), Welcome Break, 77%
108. Frankley Southbound (M5), Moto, 75%
109. Cullompton (M5), Extra, 74%
110. Burtonwood (M62), Welcome Break, 73%
111. Severn View (M48), Moto, 72%