Motorway service stations could be given significant and dramatic makeovers to increase their popularity with drivers, according to new government plans.
Cleanliness and the quality of food on offer will be put under the microscope to raise standards, while new, fresher designs will be rolled out to around 100 service stations across the UK, said The Times.
To improve the look of each station, transport minister John Hayes has decreed that each building should provide more air and natural light to give them a fresher and more modern appearance.
Fresher, more modern appearance
Likewise, green space should be developed outside while the introduction of independent cafes and shops will be encouraged to improve the retail experience and hopefully cut extortionate costs.
Other changes will also include upping the number of charging facilities for electric car drivers in a bid to boost the usage of electric cars and their viability on long stretches of motorway.
In a recent speech, the transport minister said: “These places should be charming and eclectic, creating a break from the particular monotony of long-distance travel, not adding to its monotony.”
The news follows on from a survey released in November last year, which showed that motorway services are now more unpopular than ever amongst drivers in the UK.
According to the study, undertaken by the RAC, as much as 88 per cent of drivers believe that motorway service stations represent poor value for money, and over half said they didn’t like visiting them.
Other gripes included expensive parking, the lack of free overnight options for long distance drivers and the sub-par food and drinks on offer, alongside expensive pricing.
An overwhelming 99 per cent of the 1,281 drivers surveyed said that they only stopped to use the toilet, while the data also suggested that drivers currently spend as little time as possible in them.
Motorway services ‘more unpopular than ever’
Pete Williams, the RAC’s head of external affairs, said: “Millions of motorists depend on motorway service areas for a well-earned rest, and it is important for their safety and that of other road users that they take regular breaks so they are not tired when behind the wheel.
“But motorists feel they are being seriously let down by what they see as overpriced products and a lack of good service to match those premium prices.”
Edmund King, president of the AA, said that making roadside stops more appealing and more affordable for drivers isn’t just important for satisfying customers but also improving road safety.
He said: “Improving the general feel of the service area, as they do in France, would encourage many more people to pull over, and that’s crucial given the importance of regular breaks when you’re driving long distances.”
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