For many Brits, a crucial part of any long-distance car journey is planning out the motorway services stations to stop off at along the way.
While most of us will probably admit that we don’t usually visit service stations for fun, they often provide us with a necessary pit stop as somewhere to stretch our legs, use the loo, refill the car and grab a bite to eat before we head back on the road again.
What would we do without them?
Out of all the service stations that are dotted across the country though, which one is rated as the best? And which is the worst?
In preparation for the further easing of national lockdown restrictions over the coming months, leading consumer choice company, Which?, recruited 5,600 people to rate a total of 68 UK service stations in a number of categories, including the range and quality of shops and food outlets, prices, convenience, parking, accessibility, cleanliness and ease of maintaining social distancing, and more.
The customer score for each service station combines the overall satisfaction and likelihood of recommending.
Topping the list as the best motorway service station in the UK is Gloucester Services – between junctions 11A and 12 on the M5 – which received a whopping four out of five stars for all categories, with a customer score of 86%.
One visitor said it was “as far from a typical motorway stop as you can imagine”, with other customers praising its “fabulous” farm shop selling home-cooked meals and local produce.
At the other end of the scale though is the Moto-owned Bridgwater Services in Somerset, which ranked the worst in Britain by Which? after it was awarded just one star out of five for all categories analysed and received an overall customer score of just 32%.
Recent visitors described the venue as “dirty” and “depressing”, and others complained of a urine smell and toilet paper strewn on the floor.
Another claimed it “should be demolished”.
Speaking on the unveiling of best and worst UK service stations, Rory Boland – Editor of Magazine Which? Travel – said: “The results of our survey show that it pays to plan ahead to avoid some of the UK’s worst motorway services.
“It could be the difference between a home-cooked meal in peaceful surroundings or crowded queues in downright dirty facilities.
“Whether you’re zipping down the M5 towards the beaches on the south-west coast, or up the M6 towards the Scottish border, make sure your journey isn’t spoiled by a stop at a shoddy service station.”
Top 5 Best Motorway Service Stations in the UK
Gloucester Services (86%)
Tebay Services (83%)
Cairn Lodge Services (69%)
Norton Canes Services (65%)
Wetherby Services (61%)
Top 5 Worst Motorway Service Stations in the UK
Bridgwater Services (32%)
Gordano Services (40%)
Newport Pagnell Services (41%)
Sandbach Services (42%)
Keele Services (42%)
In response to placing last in the rankings, Ken McMeikan – CEO of Moto – said: “I am appalled by the score at our Bridgwater site.
“This does not reflect the standards we aspire to across all of our sites and I can absolutely guarantee that all of the issues raised will be dealt with immediately to ensure we get Bridgwater back to the standard we know our customers expect and deserve.”
What do you think to this list then? Do you agree?
You can find the full rankings of the best and worst motorway service stations in the UK via the Which? website here.
Featured Image – Gloucester Services | Bridgewater Services
The UK could be at risk of a roast potato shortage this Christmas
Ok, we don’t mean to alarm you but, according to the latest reports, Christmas dinner plates could be at risk of scrimping on a major component as there is a threat of a roast potato shortage this holiday season.
Please, for the love of all things holy and festive, no — we’ll do anything protect our roasties and gravy.
While there’s often talk of supermarket shortages and supply problems when it comes to the busiest time of year, it seems that the Great British potato-loving people might genuinely have to cut back on the amount of roast spuds we were intending over the next few months due to recent storms.
Following what has already gone down as one of the toughest harvest on record, the yield of potato crops have been hit hard by the ‘Autumn washout’, with fields being waterlogged by the likes of Storm Babet, Ciarán, Debi and more, meaning that farmers have been unable to harvest lots of their produce.
Farmer James Lacey explained how there is around £200,000 worth of potatoes that he and his team simply can’t harvest and that they are struggling to hold on to those already pulled out, as even such sturdy vegetables as potatoes just “don’t like this kind of weather and aren’t storing very well”.
This is just the story of farmer’s plot of land too; unfortunately, current figures project that roughly 20% of this autumn’s potato crop has been flooded and will likely be unsalvageable, with the majority of rotting spuds only fit for animal feed.
Although the figures are still unclear, it is estimated that the latest potato crop is tipped for a record low of 4.1 milllon tonnes — for context, on average and in their various forms, Brits eat around 250m potatoes at Christmas every year.
Sadly, it doesn’t stop there either as due to the almost unprecedented rainfall over the last few months and back-to-back storms, combined with the increasingly frosty conditions now creeping across the UK, the likes of broccoli, carrots, parnsips are all under threat.
As a result, retailers are already being forced to supplement their supplies from cold storage which, obviously, isn’t endless.
With shortages of different vegetables are increasing week upon week and as well as the impact it is having in restaurants already, the knock-on effect it may have on supermarkets with people raiding the freezers to get frozen roasties at the ready just in case could be massive.
The recent miserable weather isn’t getting any better either as the North West is one of many regions that has been hit by a cold snap this week, with the Met Office and UKHSA issuing an amber health alert.
New survey reveals one in six Brits would rather have a curry than a Christmas dinner
One in six Brits would apparently rather have a curry on Christmas Day in place of a traditional roast dinner, a new survey has revealed.
With December just a few days away now, it won’t be long before we all sit down to tuck into what is always one of the biggest and heartiest meals of the whole year – but, if the results of a new survey is anything to go by, for a good chunk of Brits, this year’s Christmas feast won’t be the typical roast turkey that tradition’s always called for.
Instead, one in six would rather stray off the beaten track and opt for an Indian instead.
After a shocking survey by Next revealed last year that more than 12 million Brits think Yorkshire puddings belong with your Christmas dinner, around 1,000 UK adults have been polled by instatprint this time around to discover what’s making it on the festive feasting plate in just a few weeks time.
And, as to be expected, some weird and wonderful food combinations feature on the list, with over a third of Brits apparently planning on having sausages instead of the usual Christmas meats, and chips and beans also seem to be on the menu for the fussier eaters among us too.
Chicken nuggets, eggs, caviar, goat’s cheese, haggis, and chimichurri were some of the other rogue choices given by some of the survey respondents.
Then, when it comes to the accompanying sides to the main event, 11% even revealed they plan on tucking into some macaroni cheese with their Christmas dinner this year, with another 11% sharing that mushy peas are a must on their plate too.
17% of Brits will be enjoying mustard, 13% will be squirting ketchup on their roast, and 7% will apparently be enjoying a dollop of mayonnaise too.
But while some clearly like to freestyle their Christmas dinner and pop whatever they fancy on the plate, others are apparently ditching the norm all together, as the survey has revealed that only half of Brits are set on having their traditional Christmas dinner this year.
As mentioned, almost one in six would much rather tuck into an Indian curry, but not only that, 6% of us would rather have a Chinese, 5% would enjoy Mexican, and another 5% would opt for tapas if it was an option too.