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
Molly-Mae Hague has welcomed her first baby… according to boxer Jake Paul
Jake Paul appears to have spilled the beans on Molly-Mae Hague, announcing that she has given birth to her first baby with his rival Tommy Fury.
Super influencer Molly-Mae, 23, has maintained radio silence on Instagram for the last week, leading to many fans speculating that she has welcomed her baby girl and is taking some privacy out of the public eye.
Many assumed that she would bide her time for a huge announcement video, as she did with her pregnancy announcement back in September.
But it appears that Jake Paul has jumped the gone and made the announcement for the young couple, who met on the fifth series of Love Island.
YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake posted on Twitter today, alongside a poster promoting his upcoming fight with Tommy: “Tommy has no excuses now…Baby’s born. Money’s massive. Immigration no issue.
“Tyson promises he & Papa will make Tommy retire from boxing & change his last name if he can’t beat the YouTuber.
“Tmw I’m coming to London to look at all 3 Fury’s in the eye & shake on that promise.”
Of course, the internet has completely lost its mind that Molly-Mae’s undoubtedly tasteful baby announcement has been usurped in this way.
One person posted on Twitter: “Jake Paul announcing Molly Mae’s birth before Molly Mae or Tommy is the biggest sh*thousery I’ve seen this year.”
Another wrote: “ermmm did Jake Paul just let slip that Molly Mae’s given birth before she announced it or??”
Someone else commented: “Not Jake Paul announcing molly mae having her baby before molly mae what a prick.”
Molly-Mae and Tommy Fury have not yet addressed the message from Jake Paul.
Featured image: Instagram, @mollymae
Tim Healy surprises fans with performance at The 1975’s Newcastle gig
The 1975’s tour has seen some seriously memorable moments so far, including several special guest appearances, but seeing Tim Healy give a surprise performance has to be the jewel in the crown.
While the band might have formed in the Wilmslow and plied their trade in Manchester on their way to success, several members of the current lineup — including frontman Matty Healy himself — were born in Newcastle, so the gig at the Utilita Arena on Wednesday was very much a homecoming show.
With that in mind, when British TV royalty, Geordie icon and Matty’s old man, Tim Healy popped up on stage, the crowd understandably went wild.
There were no doubt plenty of confused faces when a trademark Matty monologue and sudden cut to black was followed by the bloke from Benidorm appearing up on stage, but there was also a scream bigger than any response Taylor Swift got.
Whipping out some significantly more dramatic thespian ability than the kind you’d associate with his Auf Wiedersehen, Pet days, albeit still fully aware of bizarre the entire spectacle was, he brought one of his son’s trademark digressions about method acting to a close.
But better than that, the 70-year-old ended up staying on stage to perform his own low-key ‘All I Need to Hear‘ cover as the band played in the background. Surreal.
To be honest, it might just be the wholesomeness of it all, but we think we might prefer the older Healy’s version.
Sing it, Tim!
Imagine bringing your dad onto the stage only for him to absolutely steal the show. Brilliant stuff.
Both he and Matty’s celebrity mum Denise Welch have been spotted at various shows as the band continue to perform their ‘At Their Very Best’ tour around the country, with various fans interacting with them in the crowd, but very few would have been expecting an impromptu song from one of them.
Both are obviously more closely associated with TV, with Welch known for appearing on the likes of Coronation Street, Hollyoaks, Loose Women and many more, but if we don’t up end up getting both of them on stage before this tour is over we’ll be genuinely fuming.
It also looks like the reaction meant a lot to him:
Elsewhere in the show, The 1975’s Newcastle fans were treated to an equally ridiculous surprise appearance from Harry Styles. Well, not really…
In case you haven’t seen it already, the band conspired to prank the crowd by putting the former One Direction star’s name up on the screen, only to bring out Scottish singer Lewis Capaldi instead.
He obviously got just as lovely a reaction and fully leaned into bantering with the crowd — joking, “I know what you’re thinking: ‘Harry Styles‘ looks a bit different.'” — before performing a cover of ‘Antichrist’.