Motorway Services Online

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All Polls

In its earliest years, Motorway Services Online provided a selection of polls which were displayed randomly across the site. Over 10 years later the results seem pretty meaningless now, but they are included for reference.


Are motorway services well signed?

Yes
51.4% 51.4%

No
24.0% 24.0%

Kind of
24.7% 24.7%

The oldest poll on the site, and I never made it clear whether I was talking about motorway signs, car park signs or internal signs. Whichever way people took it, they seemed to like them.


How often do you take a break when driving?

Every 2 hours or less.
20.2% 20.2%

Every 2-3 hours.
40.4% 40.4%

Every 3-4 hours.
15.4% 15.4%

Never / Every 4+ hours.
3.8% 3.8%

Roughly every 2 hours, but for less than 15 minutes.
6.7% 6.7%

Roughly every 4 hours, and for less than 15 minutes.
1.9% 1.9%

Only if I'm desperate.
11.6% 11.6%

That sounds a bit right, and roughly reflects the government's two-hour guideline.


Have you ever parked in the wrong place at a service station?

Yes, on purpose.
16.0% 16.0%

Yes, but I was lost.
31.3% 31.3%

No.
52.7% 52.7%

16% of people deliberately park in the wrong place. Woah, you really push boundaries.


Live Traffic Info at motorway services is:

A good idea.
20.5% 20.5%

A good idea if kept up-to-date.
63.8% 63.8%

A bad idea.
2.7% 2.7%

What?
12.9% 12.9%

With hindsight I'd have thought this would be pretty obvious. How can information be a bad idea?


Where do you eat?

In the café (main seating area).
25.1% 25.1%

In a restaurant (high street brand)
21.6% 21.6%

Outside (when nice)
15.1% 15.1%

In the car.
19.6% 19.6%

I don't.
18.6% 18.6%

A nice split there, you don't get many separate restaurants these days.


Have you ever used the game arcade at motorway services?

Yes
15.2% 15.2%

Once
8.9% 8.9%

Never
75.9% 75.9%

Proof if proof be needed that they're a waste of space!


What is your favourite hotel brand?

Travelodge
21.9% 21.9%

Premier Inn
28.2% 28.2%

Days Inn
23.6% 23.6%

Purple Hotels
2.3% 2.3%

Welcome Lodge
9.8% 9.8%

Don't know/not sure
14.1% 14.1%

The inclusion of Welcome Lodge reveals just how old this poll is. They weren't that popular either.


Motorway services should be located...

...off a junction.
24.1% 24.1%

...between junctions.
44.8% 44.8%

...off their own junctions.
31.1% 31.1%

A surprising amount of support for offline services.


Which is your favourite operator?

Moto
19.6% 19.6%

Welcome Break
31.8% 31.8%

RoadChef
17.8% 17.8%

Extra
19.6% 19.6%

Other
11.2% 11.2%

Welcome Break lead the pack there. I refreshed the results a couple of times over the years to try keep the results fresh.


Bridges at motorway services...

...shouldn't exist.
13.5% 13.5%

...should link two sides with different facilities.
48.3% 48.3%

...should just be a bridge.
14.3% 14.3%

...should have fast food on them.
23.9% 23.9%

Customers seem to like the idea of bridges - how many just want to stand and watch the traffic?


Do service station parking prices make sense?

Yes
8.8% 8.8%

There's a good reason for them, but they're too high
39.2% 39.2%

No
52.0% 52.0%

Looks like the majority of people want to see service station parking charges removed, now.


What do you think of the quality of food in a service station café?

Excellent
5.4% 5.4%

Good
12.8% 12.8%

OK
18.9% 18.9%

Poor
21.2% 21.2%

Terrible
41.8% 41.8%

All of their talk about cook-to-order and new menus obviously doesn't seem to have worked.


What do you think of the quantity of services on the network?

Far too many
3.6% 3.6%

A few too many
5.4% 5.4%

Just right
32.6% 32.6%

Too few
44.6% 44.6%

Far too few
13.8% 13.8%

Personally, I'm not sure how you can argue that there are "far too many" services, but there you go.


When do you think the best time to visit a motorway service area is?

Early morning
32.7% 32.7%

Lunchtime
11.7% 11.7%

Afternoon
16.6% 16.6%

Evening
17.1% 17.1%

Overnight
22.0% 22.0%

Lots of support for the early morning with overnight coming a surprising second. Doesn't everything close at night?


Would you agree that the quality of facilities varies by operator?

Yes
67.1% 67.1%

No
32.9% 32.9%

Does that mean they're not all rubbish?


If motorway service areas were to provide 'park and ride' facilities, would you use them?

All the time
5.7% 5.7%

Most of the time
11.4% 11.4%

It depends where to
44.3% 44.3%

Very rarely
12.3% 12.3%

Never
26.3% 26.3%

I guess 'where to' is quite an important factor.


When do you think motorway services were at their best?

1960s
39.3% 39.3%

1980s
16.5% 16.5%

2000s
44.2% 44.2%

A surprising amount of support for modern services here, given that most people seem to hate them!


Are motorway services underestimated?

Yes
34.8% 34.8%

At times
32.6% 32.6%

No
32.6% 32.6%

A good split here, but with 67% of people saying there is some aspect to motorway services they think are underestimated. I wonder what that is?


Are motorway services clean enough?

Yes
11.7% 11.7%

No
32.0% 32.0%

Depends on the operator
56.2% 56.2%

So, which one is the 'dirty operator'?


Are roadside cafés preferable to 'proper' motorway services?

Yes
26.0% 26.0%

No
28.3% 28.3%

Depends on the cafés and services in question
45.7% 45.7%

Not as many votes for cafés as I was expecting, I guess they don't provide the same level of facilities.


Would you consider stopping at a service area as part of your commute?

Yes
37.6% 37.6%

No
22.3% 22.3%

Only if I was early there or late home
14.0% 14.0%

I don't pass a service area as part of my commute
26.1% 26.1%

Surely not many people would make stopping at one a regular occasion?


Are lorry-only services worth it?

Yes, independently owned ones only
18.2% 18.2%

Yes, chain owned ones only
3.6% 3.6%

Yes, both
32.7% 32.7%

No
45.5% 45.5%

I wonder if all the 'no' votes came from car drivers? Perhaps a happy compromise would be to have more services which specialise in HGV facilities but don't ban cars.


Do rest areas sound like a good idea?

Yes
76.3% 76.3%

No
4.6% 4.6%

What?
19.1% 19.1%

A large majority for rest areas there, now we just need some developers to go and plan some.


Do you drive for a living?

Yes
27.7% 27.7%

No
72.3% 72.3%

Just under a third of visitors to this site are professional drivers, which sounds about right.


Do you support the proposal for a service area at Catherine-de-Barnes?

Yes
22.4% 22.4%

There should be one in the area, but not here
3.7% 3.7%

No, because of undesirable effects on local residents
3.7% 3.7%

No (other)
6.7% 6.7%

Where is Catherine-de-Barnes?
63.4% 63.4%

I disabled this poll once the services had been rejected. Catherine-de-Barnes was on the M42 between J4 and J5, by the way, and services have been planned here for the past 20 years.


Would you support the use of temporary facilities at junctions on roads with few services?

Yes
74.1% 74.1%

No
25.9% 25.9%

How would you design modern-day temporary services? Lots of gravel and portaloos?


How regularly should lay-bys be spaced along dual carriageways of national importance?

Every mile
26.7% 26.7%

Every 2 miles
29.7% 29.7%

Every 3 miles
15.9% 15.9%

Every 5 miles
19.0% 19.0%

More infrequently
2.6% 2.6%

They should only be used sparingly
4.1% 4.1%

They shouldn't be used at all
2.1% 2.1%

Most people seem to want them at frequent intervals, although I didn't ask what kind of lay-by people want. A full parking area with payphones, set back from the road, every mile?


Do we need more facilities for lorry and coach drivers along major a-roads?

Yes
33.1% 33.1%

We need more services on a-roads full stop
32.3% 32.3%

We need more facilities for lorries and coaches full stop
17.7% 17.7%

No, they shoud only use them sparingly
3.8% 3.8%

No, it's fine as it is
13.1% 13.1%

Most people seem to be calling for more a-road faciltiies of some sort.


Do you take any notice of the adverts at motorway services?

Yes
32.1% 32.1%

Yes, but there are too many of them
5.5% 5.5%

No, but they should stay if it allows operators to keep prices down
36.4% 36.4%

No, there should be some but there are too many
11.5% 11.5%

No, they should all be removed
14.5% 14.5%

I was surprised by the amount of people who admit to noticing the adverts, I can't say I've ever paid much attention to them, personally.


Do you take the operator in to account when choosing which service area to stop at?

Yes
19.3% 19.3%

Yes, along with other things
28.1% 28.1%

No, I go entirely on my/other people's past experiences
13.3% 13.3%

No, I consider convenience
39.3% 39.3%

It looks like, despite earlier polls suggesting some operators are better than others, people don't really judge services by the operator.


Should we be sympathising with Moto over the loss of traffic at Cherwell Valley?

Yes, they didn't know the junction was going to be ruined
28.3% 28.3%

No, the services are doing fine and/or the junction isn't that bad
5.3% 5.3%

No, that's what happens when you build services off a busy junction
28.3% 28.3%

Who cares?
38.1% 38.1%

Quite a specific question this one, from the results it looks like the public have spoken and they seem to think that I should get a life. Ouch.


Should the operators focus on building more services or improving their existing ones?

Building more sites
26.4% 26.4%

Improving their existing ones
73.6% 73.6%

The operators seem to agree with this, although that's partially because it's too hard to open a new service area these days.


When were motorway services at their worst?

1980s or before
32.1% 32.1%

1990s/early 2000s
35.8% 35.8%

Today
32.1% 32.1%

Very even this one, this poll gives the impression that services haven't improved at all.


What do you think of plans to have hotel-style star ratings for motorway services?

It's a good idea and I will use it
41.7% 41.7%

It's a good idea and I may use it
33.1% 33.1%

It's a good idea but I won't use it
8.6% 8.6%

It's not a good idea but I will use it
0.0% 0.0%

It's not a good idea but I won't use it
16.5% 16.5%

No votes for "it's not a good idea but I will use it", serves me right for coming up with such a ridiculous option. Of course, hotel-style ratings have existed for many years on this site.


The A1 should have:

Regular motorway-style services
60.6% 60.6%

Frequent small services and roadside cafés
39.4% 39.4%

People seem to want larger services on the A1, and with much of it being upgraded to motorway, that's even more important.


Has Moto been an improvement on Granada?

Yes, for the best
35.1% 35.1%

Moto is worse
41.4% 41.4%

It's no different
23.4% 23.4%

Most people seemed to prefer Granada, yet at the time I distinctly remember everyone hated them!


Are there any operators which could benefit from a complete re-brand?

Yes
67.2% 67.2%

No
15.6% 15.6%

All of them!
17.2% 17.2%

Who is it that deserves this makeover then?


Should Moto re-open the Pennine Tower at Lancaster (Forton) services?

Yes - it should be integrated in to the services
80.9% 80.9%

Yes - but with a visiting charge and health and safety contract
7.3% 7.3%

No - it was closed for a reason
6.4% 6.4%

No - it wouldn't be worth it
5.5% 5.5%

A clear result here, it looks like Moto could gain a lot of custom if they opened up that tower.


Do you support the plans for Gloucestershire Gateway services?

Yes
57.1% 57.1%

There should be one in the area, but not here
0.0% 0.0%

No, because of undesirable effects on local residents
0.0% 0.0%

No (other)
0.0% 0.0%

I didn't know about the plans
42.9% 42.9%

This one only ran for a very short time, with everyone who knew about the plans being in support.


Which of the new A1(M) services would you like to see?

The extended Leeming Bar
20.0% 20.0%

Baldersby Gate
20.0% 20.0%

Kirby Hill
0.0% 0.0%

They should all be built, but as smaller services
40.0% 40.0%

Other
20.0% 20.0%

Local residents will be relieved to hear there were no votes for Kirby Hill.