'Dirty' and 'depressing' Bridgwater services on M5 named worst in the UK

Ellen Manning
·2 min read
Embargoed to 0001 Saturday April 03 File photo dated 12/05/20 of traffic on the M5 near Strensham services. A motorway service area on a key tourist route has been named the worst in Britain. Issue date: Saturday April 3, 2021.
Which? analysed motorway service stations around the country. (PA)

A "dirty" and "depressing" motorway service station has been named the worst in Britain.

Bridgwater services on the M5 in Somerset — a popular stop off for tourists heading to and from Cornwall and Devon — scored just one star out of five in a ranking of service stations across the country. 

The Moto-owned site received an overall customer score of just 32% in the ranking, which assesses elements including cleanliness, range of facilities and prices.

Visitors described it as "dirty" and "depressing", while some complained of a urine smell and toilet paper strewn on the floor and one person said it "should be demolished". 

The findings were based on around 5,600 experiences by 2,700 consumers at 68 motorway service areas.

A green roof on the Gloucester Service Station on the M5 motorway, UK.
Gloucester Services was voted the best according to the Which? ranking. (PA)

Gloucester Services, also on the M5, was ranked number one, receiving four out of five stars for all categories, with a customer score of 86%.

One visitor said it was “as far from a typical motorway stop as you can imagine”, while customers praised its “fabulous” farm shop.

Tebay services on the M6 in Cumbria was ranked second (83%), followed by Cairn Lodge in Lanark on the M74 (69%) and Norton Canes on the M6 Toll in Staffordshire.

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Rory Boland, editor of magazine Which? Travel, said: “The results of our survey show that it pays to plan ahead to avoid some of the UK’s worst motorway services.

“It could be the difference between a home-cooked meal in peaceful surroundings, or crowded queues in downright dirty facilities.

“Whether you’re zipping down the M5 towards the beaches on the south-west coast, or up the M6 towards the Scottish border, make sure your journey isn’t spoiled by a stop at a shoddy service station.”

Moto CEO Ken McMeikan said: “I am appalled by the score at our Bridgwater site.

“This does not reflect the standards we aspire to across all of our sites and I can absolutely guarantee that all of the issues raised will be dealt with immediately to ensure we get Bridgwater back to the standard we know our customers expect and deserve.”

– Here are the top five service stations according to the Which? ranking, with their customer score in brackets:

1. Gloucester (86%)

2. Tebay (83%)

3. Cairn Lodge (69%)

4. Norton Canes (65%)

5. Wetherby (61%)

– And here are the bottom five:

64. Keele (42%)

65. Sandbach (42%)

66. Newport Pagnell (41%)

67. Gordano (40%)

68. Bridgwater (32%)

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