A service station on the M62 near Manchester has just been handed the unfortunate title of the worst in the UK.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, it’s the second year in a row it’s been given the honour.
Merely a couple of weeks after the glorious Tebay Services – also known as the little slice of motorway service station heaven just off the M6 in Cumbria, which is a classic halfway stop-off for Mancs heading up north – was named the best the country has to offer, a new survey has taken a look at the flip side.
If Tebay Services is the gold-standard for service stations, then at the other end of the spectrum, we’ve got Hartshead Moor East on the M62.
For the second year running, this service station situated between the two major northern cities of Manchester and Leeds has been the one that motorists have said they’d least likely to recommend to a friend.
Run by and branded as Welcome Break, with popular food, drink, and retail chains such as Starbucks, KFC, Subway, Waitrose, WHSmith, and more operating inside of it, Hartshead Moor East has found itself at the bottom of an annual survey by Transport Focus – which is currently in its sixth year.
To compile the list of best and worst in the UK for 2023, the independent watchdog spoke to more than 30,000 visitors at 120 motorway services, and asked them about their views on the toilets, customer service, value of the food and drink, and electric vehicle charging facilities.
As a whole, motorway services performed well this year, with 94% of visitors saying they they were satisfied with their visit, which is up from 93% in 2022.
But when it comes to Hartshead Moor East, it was given the lowest overall satisfaction rating at 84%.
Visitors particularly pointed to the fact work to refurbish the toilets was underway during the survey period and portable toilets were in place.
Speaking on the results of the annual survey that Hartshead Moor East would rather forget, Anthony Smith – Chief Executive of Transport Focus – 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.
“This includes 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.”
Featured Image – Google Maps
Sir David Jason set for TV return in Only Fools and Horses documentary Christmas special
In a surprise bit of festive news, the only and only Sir David Jason is returning for an Only Fools and Horses Christmas special this December. Lovely jubbly!
The best-loved and most-watched British comedy of all time will be back on our screens in documentary form this festive season, with Del Boy himself David Jason revisiting the iconic comedy character after 20 years he last played him on screen.
While the legendary sitcom was broadcast on BBC back in the day, the highly-anticipated Only Fools doc will be airing on Channel 5 right before Christmas as a special one-off programme.
Looking back on the show’s incredible run on UK screens over seven series and the several ‘Christmas Cracker’ specials, specifically, the latest Only Fools and Horses documentary will see Jason and a number of other guests appearing to chat about the legendary show.
While it’s still unclear how many of the original cast will be appearing, Jason’s on-screen wife Tessa Peake-Jones (Raquel) is confirmed to be appearing along with other special guests including newscaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Bendiorm‘s Sherrie Hewson.
Sadly, a full theatrical reunion just isn’t on the cards following the deaths of Roger Lloyd Pack (Trigger), Kenneth MacDonald (Mike the Landlord) and Buster Merryfield (Uncle Albert) in the 30 years since the show ended its run.
Only Fools writer John Sullivan also sadly passed away aged 64 in 2011 and fellow co-star Nicholas Lyndhurst, a.k.a. Rodney Trotter, told Metro: “We can’t. John is no longer with us. John was the driving force of the show and we have also lost quite a few cast members now.
“I don’t think I could do it without them and I certainly couldn’t do it without John. At the risk of depressing everyone, I think the last two times I’ve seen David has been at funerals.”
Simply entitled, ‘The Story Of Only Fools And Horses At Christmas’, the 90-minute special is yet to have its broadcast date fully confirmed but you best keep your eyes peeled on the TV guide — we’ll let you know as soon we do.
Jason, 81, has only just recovered from hip surgery earlier this year, so it’ll be nice to see his familiar grin back on our screens.
Right, we’re off to binge a whole series on UK Gold.
Habas restaurant in Manchester announces shock closure – with huge closing-down discount
Habas, the Middle Eastern restaurant launched by the team behind El Gato Negro, has announced its shock closure.
The subterranean restaurant will be going out with a bang though, promising one last knees-up with a big discount.
Habas will be doing 25% off its entire food and drink menu this New Year’s Eve so that fans of the eatery can raise a glass to the Manchester restaurant.
They’re also hoping that Mancs will raise a glass to new beginnings, teasing a brand new concept.
Habas is located at Brown Street in Manchester city centre and has been serving up its Middle Eastern menu since 2021.
It comes from Mills Hill Developments Limited, the company also responsible for El Gato Negro and Canto, fronted by celebrated chef Simon Shaw.
Habas has stressed that its closure ‘is not forever’ as it announces details of its New Year’s Eve closing down party.
You can ring in the new year with a selection of mezze dishes, sharing platters and small plates, feasting on chicken tagine and traditional tzatziki, all 25% off on Sunday 31 December.
Drinks, too, like the cranberry elderflower martini, blackberry ginger smash and clementine daquiri will be with 25% off.
Simon Shaw, Chef Parton at Mills Hill Developments Limited, said: “As of January 2024, we have made the decision to close the doors of Habas Bar & Restaurant, however we are thrilled to announce that our Brown Street venue has an exciting new concept on the way.
“Throughout December, Habas, will continue serving up the city’s best middle-eastern cuisine, so make sure you pop in and see us. AND on New Year’s Eve, Habas, will be hosting an unforgettable celebration with 25% off food and drinks. We want to rejoice with all of our customers, with one final hurrah!
“We would like to thank all of our guests and reassure Habas fans that this is not the end of Habas Bar & Restaurant forever, simply a farewell from Brown Street for now.
“We look forward to welcoming you to our new exciting concept in Q1 of 2024.”