Motorway Services Online

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Best and Worst Motorway Services

Michaelwood rated three stars by Visit England

Since 2007 Motorway Services Online has allowed anyone to rate each operator, and to rate each service area based on a number of qualities. A selection of the data can be found below with the best or worst services in each respect listed alongside their current rating. This can be compared with data from previous years using the selection boxes on the right.

To contribute to the ratings, find a service area and tap it, then look at the box to the right of the page.
A complete list of the current standings can be found at MSO:All Ratings.

Contents

Best Services

Current results:

  1. Blackburn with Darwen: 4.60 (2 recent votes)
  2. Woolley Edge: 4.47 (12 recent votes)
  3. Trowell: 4.45 (45 recent votes)
  4. Swansea West: 4.33 (16 recent votes)
  5. Tickled Trout: 4.33 (1 recent votes)
  6. Gloucester: 4.23 (43 recent votes)
  7. Stafford (North): 4.21 (8 recent votes)
  8. Killington Lake: 4.20 (15 recent votes)
  9. Keele: 4.15 (9 recent votes)
  10. Kinross: 4.14 (10 recent votes)

Newer services tend to do better here, although you can spot surges where large refurbishments have taken place. At the time of writing, the top spots are held by Moto and Welcome Break, with Happendon and Heart of Scotland both flying the flag for the smaller (and Scottish) sites.

Worst Services

Current results (all services on site):

  1. Bridgwater: 1.85 (16 recent votes)
  2. Saltash: 1.93 (10 recent votes)
  3. Derby South: 2.20 (2 recent votes)
  4. Ballacolla: 2.25 (1 recent votes)
  5. Cullompton: 2.42 (4 recent votes)
  6. Leicester Forest East: 2.42 (10 recent votes)
  7. Colsterworth: 2.43 (15 recent votes)
  8. Bangor: 2.53 (5 recent votes)
  9. Northampton: 2.58 (13 recent votes)
  10. Cornwall: 2.60 (5 recent votes)

Current results (major services only):

  1. Bridgwater: 1.85 (16 recent votes)
  2. Ballacolla: 2.25 (1 recent votes)
  3. Cullompton: 2.42 (4 recent votes)
  4. Leicester Forest East: 2.42 (10 recent votes)
  5. Bangor: 2.53 (5 recent votes)
  6. Northampton: 2.58 (13 recent votes)
  7. London Gateway: 2.60 (7 recent votes)
  8. Magor: 2.63 (15 recent votes)
  9. Markfield: 2.71 (5 recent votes)
  10. Exeter: 2.75 (13 recent votes)

I included the extra column here as many a-road services tend to make this list, their scores limited by a lack of facilities and often a lack of investment. Old Inns seems to be making a regular appearance at the moment.

The 2007 results appear to be very even - a sure sign of how much smaller the site was then.

Most Votes

Current results:

  1. Trowell: 4.45 (45 recent votes)
  2. Gloucester: 4.23 (43 recent votes)
  3. Cobham: 3.44 (38 recent votes)
  4. Lymm: 3.28 (27 recent votes)
  5. Strensham: 3.22 (25 recent votes)
  6. Tebay: 3.74 (25 recent votes)
  7. Heston: 3.13 (23 recent votes)
  8. Monmouth: 3.91 (23 recent votes)
  9. Fleet: 3.58 (23 recent votes)
  10. Cherwell Valley: 3.80 (21 recent votes)

Just for your interest this one - it doesn't really have a lot of meaning. The services with the most votes are the ones which people were talking about, and some 'celebrity services' manage to make the list every year. You can also spot the Cherwell Valley fire, Rivington reconstruction and opening of Beaconsfield and other services by how they manage to shoot up the list.

The Operators

  1. Extra: 4.00
  2. Welcome Break: 3.33
  3. Roadchef: 3.22
  4. Moto: 2.33
  5. First: 1.50

Current results:

  1. Extra: 3.40 (10 recent votes)
  2. Euro Garages: 3.22 (9 recent votes)
  3. Welcome Break: 3.00 (33 recent votes)
  4. Moto: 2.88 (34 recent votes)
  5. Roadchef: 2.48 (31 recent votes)

At first this looks quite turbulent, but actually there is very little between any of the operators. Usually able to avoid scandals and headlines, Extra tend to score well here. Euro Garage's success seems to be dependent on which dilapidated service area they've taken on.

Ireland (Republic Of.)

Current results:

  1. Paulstown: 5.00 (1 recent votes)
  2. Lusk: 4.75 (4 recent votes)
  3. Galway: 4.50 (6 recent votes)
  4. Mayfield: 4.43 (7 recent votes)
  5. Castlebellingham: 4.40 (5 recent votes)
  6. Moneygall: 4.33 (9 recent votes)
  7. Enfield: 4.00 (2 recent votes)
  8. Wicklow: 3.75 (4 recent votes)
  9. Birdhill: 3.56 (9 recent votes)
  10. Cashel: 3.00 (6 recent votes)

Ireland's relatively small network of motorway services can make them difficult to spot on the lists above. So here is their own list, showing the best and the worst. We only started listing them in 2015, and more votes will come with time.


There is always a deal of caution required when dealing with online ratings and reviews. While we know the majority of ratings we receive are genuine, we appreciate there is a risk some votes will be driven by an unfair prejudice or sheer bias. This is an interesting tool and should be used as such.
The ratings system is powered by HIOX Scripts.