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Old 22-02-15, 08:48 PM   #1
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Default Motorway Service Stations - Good or Bad?

From overpriced food to strict limits on parking times and high fuel prices, there are many reasons motorway services get on our nerves.. On the other hand
they are a welcome break from motorway driving, even if it is just to stretch our legs and make use of the toilet facilities.

It's many years now since I spent any money at a motorway service station, perhaps things have changed for the better!!

Occasionally I do stop for a stretch if I'm doing a long trip but thats about it. So whats your feelings on them - are they giving value for your money these days.

Are you a frequent user or do you avoid them like the plague?
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Old 23-02-15, 10:15 AM   #2
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One thing I do like about British motorway services is the cleanliness of the toilet facilities to be found at every one I have used.
How do they compare with other European systems?.
The interstate network in the USA is not nearly as good, you are expected to buy something if you use the toilets, fair enough, the gas stations and fast food outlets aren't charities.
In Australia any distance from a town of any size you often find service areas have only one business operating, and you may have no choice other than buying at least a tankful of fuel, it might be hundreds of kilometres to the next one. But they are normally reasonably clean, and the people working there are helpful. Imo we could take a lesson from the Australian culture of tidying up after themselves, it is the most litter free country I have ever visited.

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Old 23-02-15, 10:32 AM   #3
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The trouble with the motorway services is that a lot of people who use them are in an unfamiliar area and have no option but to use the facilities. The companies that run them take advantage by hiking up the prices for a captive consumer.

The service areas have changed a lot and instead of being run solely by one company are now just a bunch of franchise outlets. Go to most services and you'll find some of the following....

Starbucks, Costa, McDonalds, Burger King, Subway, WH Smith, Ladbrokes, Greggs, M & S, Spar, EDC, Papa Johns, Krispy Kreme and others.

In the old days you could at least get a cooked meal other than a burger or fried chicken, some good and some not so good. The only redeeming feature of most of the franchise outlets is that their prices are the same as you would pay elsewhere, the exceptions being the WH Smith who hike the price of everything and similar operations to smiths.

I personally try to avoid service areas on the motorways especially the ones who operate a number plate recognition system on the car park. They don't all operate within the laws governing the operation of this kind of system and rely on the motorist not knowing the requirements to rake in unenforceable penalties for exceeding the free parking limit.
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Old 23-02-15, 01:14 PM   #4
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It's interesting to note that Tebay Services (on the M6) and Gloucester Services (on the M5) are the only two privately owned service stations on the
whole motorway network that I'm aware of.

The Gloucester one is I think a new one, and already receiving accolades for serving local foods, and having it's own farm Shop and butchery,
so that may be worth a visit if anyones up that way.

If anyone wants to take a look this is their website. Gloucester Services | M5 Services | Farmshop | Gloucester Jobs
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Old 23-02-15, 10:12 PM   #5
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I used to be a frequent user but only stopped for maximum of 20 twenty minutes if that. Top up if required used the WC and that's it.

Never brought anything else as said over priced and stayed with the motor most times.

Get a proper meals before you set off take a flask and pack some sandwiches in enough for your whole journey.

I used to do a lot of long distance work and would push it and stay on the road as long as possible even if I was on two wheels.

Most drivers don't prepare before long trips. Nowadays I avoid like the plague.
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