Best motorway services in Great Britain revealed

19 October 2022

Rugby services on the M6, run by Moto, has been rated the best motorway services in a user survey by the independent transport user watchdog.

Transport Focus spoke to more than 31,000 visitors at 119 motorway services in Great Britain about their views on the toilets, staff, value of the food and drink, electric vehicle charging and the impact their visit has on drivers’ mood.

In the survey’s fifth year, motorway service operators have once again performed well overall with 93 per cent of visitors happy with their visit.

100 per cent of visitors were satisfied with their visit to Rugby services, the newest site on the motorway network. It also came out on top as the site visitors were most likely to recommend to someone making a similar journey and the highest satisfaction with the toilets at 99 per cent.

For the first time Transport Focus surveyed motorway services visitors in Scotland and Wales operated by Roadchef and Welcome Break. Sarn Park (Welcome Break) is the highest rated services in Wales (97 per cent) and Hamilton (Roadchef) the highest rated in Scotland (94 per cent).

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, 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.”

Key findings:

  • staff at the services are considered helpful and friendly with nine in ten visitors rating them positively
  • 88 per cent of visitors were satisfied with the toilets. Extra and Roadchef had the highest ratings for toilets both at 93 per cent
  • value for money continues to be the key area for improvement – 63 per cent of visitors thought the food or drink available to eat in the services was value for money
  • stopping at the services has a positive impact on drivers’ mood – almost one in three arrive saying they feel tired, stressed or frustrated, down to less than one in ten after the visit
  • HGV drivers were the least satisfied overall at 88 per cent
  • users charging electric or plug in hybrid vehicles rated the payment options at the services highly (91 per cent) but gave lower ratings for value for money (68 per cent) and for information available online (73 per cent).

What drivers say:

“The staff were very friendly and made me feel welcome. Felt like I could stay as long as needed with no rush.”

“More choice. Keep costs in line with what they are in the high street e.g. why is coffee more expensive.”

“There were toilets, hot food with good choice, the place was clean and they emptied bins regularly. Good choice of shops. Everything we needed.”

“It was extremely busy which meant long queues for food and drinks, and it was very challenging to even move around the place to access the toilets.”

“I came here to charge my car on a long journey. There were two charge points, only none working. but multiple Tesla points. My 6 hour journey is now at least 7.5hrs. We need more charge points please.”

Download report: Motorway Services User Survey 2022.

Highest rated motorway services

Services Operator % satisfied Ranking
out of 119
Rugby (M6) Moto 100% 1
Donington Park (M1) Moto 99% 2
Blackburn with Darwen (M65) Extra 99% 3
Strensham North (M5) Roadchef 99% 4
Medway East (M2) Moto 99% 5

Lowest rated motorway services

Services Operator % satisfied Ranking
out of 119
Warwick South (M40) Welcome Break 84% 115
Birchanger Green (M11) Welcome Break 83% 116
Charnock Richard South (M6) Welcome Break 83% 117
Lancaster South (M6) Moto 83% 118
Hartshead Moor East (M62) Welcome Break 80% 119

Each motorway service area, including the 37 which are in pairs on either side of the road, were treated individually. This means that results can be different for north and south, or east and westbound services at the same location.

For further information, interviews or to attend the event please contact: Kieran Watkins, Communications manager, 07850 076493 or email:

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