Motorway Services Online

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Thinking about Christmas?

Motorway services are still open for snacks, fuel and toilets - more details.


Which? Magazine

Consumer magazine Which? have so far carried out four nationwide reviews of motorway services: 1986, 1991, 2006 and 2021. They are also understood to have conducted a survey in 2001, and often comment on the prices of food and fuel in services.

2021 Survey

Which? returned with a new survey which was published before the Easter bank holiday, perhaps inspired by the fact Transport Focus wouldn't be doing their annual customer satisfaction survey this year.

Which? only visited 68 of the country's 97 service areas, mostly in England only. In fact they appeared to venture into Scotland purely so they could cross off Cairn Lodge.

Moto gave a robust response to the criticism levelled at Bridgwater, promising immediate improvements. Meanwhile, it's difficult to escape that Westmorland did very well throughout.

The results found a significant variation across the network, which Which? receiving a lot of media coverage for their suggestion that motorists plan their journeys to find a better service area. Caution would be advised as not only were many service areas missing, but many had a very small sample size.

Ranking Name Operator Range & Quality of Shops/Food Outlets Prices Range of Facilities Cleanliness Convenience & Accessibility Ease of Social Distancing Customer Score
1 Gloucester Westmorland 5/5 4/5 5/5 5/5 5/5 4/5 86%
2 Tebay Westmorland 5/5 4/5 5/5 5/5 4/5 4/5 83%
3 Cairn Lodge Westmorland n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 69%
4 Norton Canes Roadchef 4/5 3/5 4/5 4/5 4/5 4/5 65%
5 Wetherby Moto 4/5 3/5 4/5 4/5 4/5 3/5 61%
6 Annandale Water Roadchef 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 4/5 3/5 60%
7 Donington Moto 4/5 3/5 4/5 4/5 4/5 4/5 60%
8 Stafford (North) Moto 4/5 3/5 4/5 4/5 4/5 4/5 60%
9 Beaconsfield Extra 4/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 4/5 2/5 57%
10 Leigh Delamere Moto 2/5 2/5 3/5 3/5 4/5 4/5 57%
11 Taunton Deane Roadchef 3/5 3/5 4/5 3/5 4/5 4/5 57%
12 Warwick Welcome Break 4/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 4/5 2/5 57%
13 Cherwell Valley Moto 4/5 3/5 4/5 4/5 3/5 4/5 56%
14 Winchester Moto 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 4/5 4/5 56%
15 Gretna Welcome Break 4/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 4/5 4/5 55%
16 Oxford Welcome Break 3/5 3/5 3/5 4/5 3/5 4/5 55%
17 Tibshelf Roadchef 3/5 3/5 4/5 4/5 4/5 4/5 55%
18 Corley Welcome Break 3/5 2/5 3/5 3/5 4/5 4/5 54%
19 Hopwood Park Welcome Break 3/5 3/5 4/5 4/5 4/5 4/5 54%
20 Tamworth Moto 2/5 n/a 2/5 3/5 4/5 4/5 54%
21 Telford Welcome Break 2/5 2/5 2/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 54%
22 Woodall Welcome Break 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 4/5 2/5 54%
23 Baldock Extra 3/5 n/a 4/5 4/5 4/5 n/a 53%
24 Northampton Roadchef 3/5 2/5 4/5 4/5 4/5 4/5 53%
25 Peterborough Extra 4/5 3/5 4/5 3/5 4/5 3/5 53%
26 Stafford (South) Roadchef n/a n/a 2/5 3/5 3/5 2/5 53%
27 Cobham Extra 4/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 1/5 52%
28 Killington Lake Roadchef 2/5 2/5 2/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 52%
29 Reading Moto 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 4/5 3/5 52%
30 Sedgemoor (North) Welcome Break 2/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 4/5 3/5 52%
31 Sedgemoor (South) Roadchef 3/5 3/5 2/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 52%
32 Burton-in-Kendal Moto n/a n/a n/a 3/5 3/5 n/a 51%
33 Chester Roadchef n/a n/a 3/5 4/5 4/5 n/a 51%
34 Clacket Lane Roadchef 2/5 2/5 3/5 3/5 4/5 3/5 51%
35 Fleet Welcome Break 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 4/5 3/5 51%
36 Hartshead Moor Welcome Break n/a n/a 2/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 51%
37 Michaelwood Welcome Break 2/5 1/5 2/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 51%
38 Strensham Roadchef 2/5 2/5 2/5 2/5 3/5 3/5 51%
39 Pease Pottage Moto 2/5 n/a 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 50%
40 Rownhams Roadchef 2/5 2/5 2/5 3/5 4/5 4/5 50%
41 Abington Welcome Break n/a n/a 2/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 49%
42 Chieveley Moto 2/5 2/5 2/5 3/5 3/5 1/5 49%
43 Exeter Moto 3/5 3/5 2/5 2/5 2/5 2/5 49%
44 Birch Moto n/a n/a n/a n/a 3/5 n/a 48%
45 Frankley Moto 2/5 2/5 2/5 2/5 3/5 3/5 48%
46 Knutsford Moto 3/5 2/5 2/5 2/5 2/5 2/5 48%
47 Membury Welcome Break 2/5 2/5 2/5 2/5 4/5 3/5 48%
48 Toddington Moto 2/5 2/5 2/5 3/5 4/5 4/5 48%
49 Blyth Moto 2/5 2/5 1/5 2/5 3/5 2/5 47%
50 Magor Roadchef 2/5 3/5 2/5 3/5 2/5 3/5 47%
51 Southwaite Moto 2/5 2/5 2/5 2/5 2/5 3/5 47%
52 Charnock Richard Welcome Break 2/5 2/5 2/5 2/5 2/5 2/5 46%
53 Lancaster Moto 2/5 3/5 2/5 2/5 2/5 2/5 46%
54 Leicester Forest East Welcome Break 2/5 2/5 2/5 2/5 3/5 2/5 46%
55 Scotch Corner Moto 2/5 2/5 2/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 46%
56 South Mimms Welcome Break 3/5 2/5 2/5 2/5 2/5 3/5 46%
57 Trowell Moto 3/5 2/5 3/5 2/5 3/5 3/5 46%
58 Woolley Edge Moto 2/5 n/a 1/5 2/5 4/5 n/a 46%
59 Birchanger Green Welcome Break 2/5 2/5 2/5 3/5 2/5 2/5 45%
60 London Gateway Welcome Break n/a n/a n/a n/a 3/5 n/a 45%
61 Maidstone Roadchef n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 45%
62 Watford Gap Roadchef 2/5 2/5 1/5 2/5 2/5 3/5 43%
63 Hilton Park Moto 2/5 1/5 2/5 2/5 2/5 3/5 42%
64 Keele Welcome Break 2/5 1/5 1/5 2/5 2/5 2/5 42%
65 Sandbach Roadchef 2/5 1/5 1/5 2/5 2/5 3/5 42%
66 Newport Pagnell Welcome Break 2/5 1/5 1/5 2/5 3/5 3/5 41%
67 Gordano Welcome Break 2/5 2/5 1/5 2/5 2/5 1/5 40%
68 Bridgwater Moto 1/5 1/5 1/5 1/5 1/5 1/5 32%

2006 Survey

The 2006 and 1991 survey results weren't archived by us, and haven't been found yet.

We do know that the 2006 one graded Cullompton as the worst.

1986 Survey

The 1986 survey did not name each individual service area, although it did call out Killington Lake as their favourite and spoke highly of Keele. Granada were "reliably" good while Trusthouse Forte and Welcome Break had the "best food". They said things had improved based on their previous experiences, but it was still hit-and-miss.

In addition, they assessed the restaurants as follows: