Moto’s Reading westbound services on the M4 has been named England’s top motorway services, according to a new survey by the independent transport user watchdog Transport Focus.

Top 50 Indie Euro Garages bagged second place with its Rivington Service station on the M61 at Bolton, Lancashire.

In a survey of all 112 motorway services in England, 8,700 customers had their say on facilities such as toilets, staffing and food and drink.

Drivers were also asked what impact visiting the motorway services had on their mood on arrival and then leaving the services.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of Transport Focus, said: “Our research shows that up and down the country motorway services are providing customers with a good experience and are playing a positive role in helping them rest and recharge before continuing to drive. They tell us they feel less stressed and are more awake after a good break.

“Motorway service operators must not rest on their laurels however. Our message is clear – use the results to deliver even higher levels of customer satisfaction in future.

“Ensuring that visitors feel their experience is worth the money paid, that the choice of food is good and the services are welcoming and well-maintained are important areas for motorway service operators to watch.”

Transport minister John Hayes said: “Motorways services can and should be lovely places for drivers to enjoy not just places they have to stop.

“Congratulations to those scoring the most highly. They show what can be done when what motorists want and deserve drives what is on offer.

“But users’ needs and expectations are constantly evolving. Now I want to go much further to raise and meet those expectations. My new taskforce will bring together industry and independent experts to look at how services can be fit for future motorists and reflect the particularity of localities which host these important facilities. Thoughtful design and a range of goods and services can make all motorway services as good as the best.”

The survey found:

  • overall 90% of customers were satisfied with their visit;
  • 90% of visitors were satisfied with the cleanliness of the toilets;
  • 64% of visitors thought the food or drink available to eat in the services was value for money;
  • the friendliness of staff was rated good by 94% of visitors;
  • professional visitors, such as HGV drivers, were least satisfied at 84%;
  • visits to motorway services typically resulted in a 20 percentage point increase in positive emotions and a 17 percentage point decrease in negative emotions, highlighting the beneficial impact motorway services can have on driving standards and safety for drivers.

The top five services

1. Reading Services Westbound - M4 in Berkshire

2. Rivington Services Northbound - M61 in Bolton, Lancashire

3. Corley Services Northbound - M6 in Warwickshire

4. Gloucester Services Southbound - M5 in Gloucestershire

5. Gloucester Services Northbound - M5 in Gloucestershire

The bottom five services

108. Toddington Services Southbound - M1 in Bedfordshire

109. Rownhams Services Northbound - M27 in Southampton, Hampshire

110. Rownhams Services Southbound - M27 in Southampton, Hampshire

111. Stafford Services Southbound - M6 in Staffordshire

112. Heston Services Eastbound - M4 in Hounslow, Middlesex