Britain’s worst motorway services revealed

Hartshead Moor East in West Yorkshire is the least popular out of 119 services analysed, according to a Transport Focus survey.

18 October 2022

A motorway services in West Yorkshire has been ranked the worst in Britain.

Hartshead Moor East is the least popular out of 119 services analysed, according to a survey of 31,000 visitors by watchdog Transport Focus.

The Welcome Break-owned site on the M62 near Huddersfield received an overall satisfaction rating of just 80%.

Only three out of four (75%) visitors were satisfied with the toilets.

The services is on the busiest route across the Pennines from Lancashire to Yorkshire.

This includes the UK’s highest motorway section, when the M62 reaches 1,221ft (372m) near Denshaw, Greater Manchester.

Hartshead Moor also has a section for westbound traffic, which received a score of 87%.

Welcome Break said in a statement: “We are very disappointed with the results from our site at Hartshead Moor East.

“We have received the detailed comments from Transport Focus and we will be working closely with our teams to address the feedback from the report as well as prioritising the site for future investment.”

The ranking was topped by Moto’s Rugby services on the M6 in Warwickshire.

This was the only location to score 100%.

The average satisfaction score given by all users of services was 93%, including 61% who said they were very satisfied.

Just 3% said they were very or fairly dissatisfied.

Value for money of refreshments was a key area of concern, with only 63% of respondents describing it as fairly or very good.

In contrast, some 88% of visitors were satisfied with the toilets.

Meanwhile, 31% said they felt tired, stressed or frustrated when they arrived at a services, but just 7% had those feelings when they left.

Transport Focus chief executive Anthony Smith said: “As many people gear up for a half-term getaway, motorway services provide a great place to stop and take a break.

“Many of us, when we think services, think about stopping for a toilet break – it’s reassuring to see that these are consistently highly rated.

“Our survey shows motorway service operators deliver good overall customer experience and facilities, but visitors don’t always feel they get value for money.

“Services continue to do a good job of their most important safety function – allowing drivers to rest and relax before getting back on the road.”

Visitors to services were asked for their views on the toilets, staff, value of the food and drink, electric vehicle charging, and the impact their visit had on their mood.

The survey was carried out between May 25 and July 17.

AA president Edmund King said the high-quality provision of electric vehicle chargers at Rugby is “the sort of facilities all motorway service areas should have”.

He added: “In terms of road safety, it is essential that drivers take a break at least every two-and-a-half hours, so it is vital that attractive service areas with all the facilities encourage drivers to stop.”

– Here are Britain’s top five motorway services based on their overall satisfaction score, according to a Transport Focus survey:

1. Rugby (M6): 100%

2. Donington Park (M1): 99%

3. Blackburn with Darwen (M65): 99%

4. Strensham North (M5): 99%

5. Medway East (M2): 99%

– Here are the worst five:

1. Hartshead Moor East (M62): 80%

2. Lancaster South (M6): 83%

3. Charnock Richard South (M6): 83%

4. Birchanger Green (M11): 83%

5. Warwick South (M40): 84%

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