Extra have been rated England’s best motorway service operators by visitors in the independent transport user watchdog’s latest survey.
In the fourth annual survey Transport Focus asked almost 10,000 customers about their experience at all 112 motorway services in England, between February and March before the coronavirus lockdown. Visitors had their say on facilities such as toilets, staffing, food and drink.
Transport Focus Survey 2020
Extra, operator of six sites in the survey and Westmorland, which operates four sites achieved the joint highest overall satisfaction score (97 per cent). Compared to last year’s survey, Extra saw a significant increase in satisfaction of eight percentage points to 97 per cent. Westmorland had the most ‘very satisfied’ visitors at 87 per cent.
Across the country as a whole, motorway service operators performed well with 93 per cent of visitors satisfied with their experience (an improvement on last year’s 90 per cent and the highest score since the survey started).
Visitors were least satisfied with the value for money of the food or drink they bought to eat in the services at 69 per cent. Those who drive for a living, which includes HGV drivers, were the least satisfied at 89 per cent, however, this has increased from 83 per cent in 2019.
Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said:
“As the country emerges out of lockdown and people take to the roads for staycations this summer, motorway services will provide a vital opportunity for drivers to take a break on their journey.
“Motorway services provide customers with a great experience with friendly and helpful staff, but there is still room for improvement when it comes to the value for money of the food and drink on offer.”
Drivers were also asked what impact their visit to the motorway services had on their mood on arrival and when leaving the services. 27 per cent of visitors say they arrive feeling tired, frustrated or stressed. The visit to services significantly reduces visitors’ negative mood to just five per cent.
What our visitors say
“Good atmosphere, staff very friendly, everything is clean and tidy. The main thing is the staff are fabulous – they go out of their way to make you feel comfortable.” Leisure user
“Upgraded toilets are big improvement, clean and a lot better than it was.” Business user
“Somewhere to get a proper meal, not fast food, maybe even a separate cafe for HGV drivers.” Professional user