Britain’s best motorway services named

05 October 2023

Moto Rugby services on the M6 has been rated the best motorway services for the second year running in a motorway services user survey by the independent transport watchdog.

Transport Focus spoke to more than 30,000 visitors at 120 motorway services in Great Britain about their views on the toilets, customer service, value of the food and drink and electric vehicle charging facilities.

In the sixth year of the survey, motorway services have performed well with 94 per cent of visitors satisfied with their visit, up from 93 per cent in 2022.

Moto’s Rugby in Warwickshire was awarded the best rated motorway services with 100 per cent of visitors satisfied. As the newest site in the country, Rugby was rated highly for its food and drink, toilets and friendly staff.

Welcome Break’s Hartshead Moor East on the M62 is lowest rated for overall satisfaction (84 per cent) and visitors are least likely to recommend it to a friend. Work to refurbish the toilets at Hartshead Moor East was underway during the survey period and portable toilets were in place.

In Scotland Roadchef’s Annandale Water is the highest rated services (99 per cent) and Welcome Break Sarn Park is the highest rated in Wales (96 per cent).

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said:

“Our survey shows motorway services offer a great experience with friendly and helpful staff and provide drivers with the opportunity to rest, relax and take a break before continuing their journey.

“But there is still room for improvement, including making sure the range of food and drink on offer is good value for money for visitors as cost of living increases continue to bite.”

Key findings

  • 92 per cent of visitors were satisfied with the toilets (up from 88 per cent in 2022).
  • More than nine in 10 visitors said staff at the services were helpful and friendly.
  • Value for money continues to be an area for improvement – nearly two thirds (64 per cent) of visitors thought the food or drink available to eat in the services was value for money and six in ten (57 per cent) thought the takeaway food was good value for money.
  • Stopping at services has a positive impact on drivers’ mood and provides an opportunity to rest, relax and take a break. Three in ten visitors (30 per cent) arrived at services saying they feel tired, stressed or frustrated. This went down to five per cent feeling tired, stressed or frustrated after stopping at the services. after stopping at the services.
  • EV users were the least satisfied overall at 89 per cent, followed by HGV drivers at 90 per cent.
  • Around two thirds of disabled users said that services catered well for their impairment, which leaves room for improvement by operators.
  • The cost of living crisis continues to affect road users. Four in ten said they are cutting back on day-to-day spending, with 27 per cent of users saying they are going to fewer places, 15 per cent are using their vehicle less and 22 per cent going on holiday less.

Across the country investment by operators is continuing to make a real difference for road users. Birchanger Green (Welcome Break) has seen the biggest increase in overall satisfaction, up from 83 per cent in 2022 to 96 per cent in 2023.

Transport Focus uses the survey to make the case for improvements and help operators focus on the things that matter most to visitors. When Transport Focus started measuring motorway service visitor satisfaction in 2017, the lowest overall satisfaction score at any site was 62 per cent. In 2023 the lowest site score was 84 per cent.

The survey data shows that visitors have noticed these improvements and the investment by motorway service operators over the last seven years since we started the survey. In 2017 six out of ten motorway services scored 90 per cent or more for overall visitor satisfaction, in 2023 more than 90 per cent of services have this high level of satisfaction.

What visitors say…

A visitor at Rugby said: “Very clean and well laid out. Lots of choice for buying food and drinks. Lots of seating available both inside and out. Very attractive building inside, light and airy.”

One person visiting Hartshead Moor East said: “Temporary toilets outside. In wet weather this was a real nuisance.”

One respondent to the survey remarked on the shortage of electric vehicle charging points: “Need more charging points – it’s frustrating to have to wait. Need more fast charging points.”

Commenting on the helpful staff at services one visitor said: “The staff I came into contact with were really friendly and helpful. I was tired and they offered to bring over my drinks and food once I’d paid.”

Highest rated motorway services

Motorway service station  



% satisfied Ranking out of 120
Rugby Moto 100 1
Killington Lake Roadchef 99 2
Annandale Water Roadchef 99 3
Wetherby Moto 99 4
Stafford South Roadchef 99 5
Corley South Welcome Break 99 6
Chester Roadchef 99 7
Reading East Moto 99 8
Leeds Skelton Lake Extra 98 9
Ferrybridge Moto 98 10
Lowest rated motorway services
Motorway service station  



% satisfied Ranking out of 120
Membury East Welcome Break 89 111
Sandbach South Roadchef 89 112
Cardiff Gate Welcome Break 89 113
Sedgemoor North Welcome Break 89 114
Lancaster South Moto 88 115
Hartshead Moor West Welcome Break 88 116
Bridgwater Moto 88 117
Toddington South Moto 88 118
Toddington North Moto 88 119
Hartshead Moor East Welcome Break 84 120


Download report: Motorway Services User Survey 2023.

For further information or to arrange an interviews please contact: Kieran Watkins, 07850 076493 or call the press office on 0300 123 2170

In the survey we spoke to 30,774 visitors across 120 services including 107 sites in England, seven in Scotland and six in Wales.

Westmorland (operator of Tebay and Gloucester services), Euro Garages and Stop 24 chose not to take part in this year’s survey.

Each motorway service area, including the 72 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.

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