Tiredness kills – take a break: what do drivers think of motorway services?

16 October 2017

The public information messages aimed at road users are correct, clear and concise. Tiredness kills – take a break. The quality of motorway services plays a key part in this. Is it true that the more tempting they are the more likely people are to stop? HGV drivers have less choice – the law requires them to stop at set intervals so the quality of stops and whether there are enough spaces is crucial.

Our new Motorway Services User Survey is out today. Launched by John Hayes, the Minister of State, at Beaconsfield services on the M40. Extra, the operator of the site, hosted the event where over 50 guests discussed the findings. We had a guided tour of the site and facilities and talked to customers.

In the research we spoke to nearly 9,000 drivers about their experiences of all the 112 motorway services in England. Generally people’s needs are simple: toilets and food and drink. However, what is important for road safety is that people feel rested when they get back behind the wheel.

We found good results generally. Nine out of ten drivers rated themselves satisfied with their visit and the level of dissatisfaction is very low. There is a big increase in feeling happy and relaxed after a visit.

The private sector operators of these sites are doing a pretty good job catering for their customers. However, continued focus needs to be kept up on ensuring HGV drivers have the affordable space and facilities they need and that toilets and outside of buildings are kept clean and well maintained. This new report builds on earlier work we carried out which highlighted HGV issues in more detail.

Next? Hopefully the motorway service operators will continue with this survey. Plus we are starting work on the roadside facilities on the A road parts of the Strategic Road Network. More varied, different expectations, more choice but just as important.

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