Inside UK’s worst motorway service station – where staff simply ‘try their best’

The worst service station in the country is mired by problems, but staff are attempting to "try their best" each and every day.

Those stopping off for a bite to eat and a rest on a long journey may do well to avoid Welcome Break's Hartshead Moor East service station. The West Yorkshire-based businesses are racking up a rather poor reputation.

For two years in a row, the service station has been voted the worst in the country. Though satisfaction ratings are still in the respectable highs of 84%, it is quite the distance from perfect 100% scores delivered by a Moto service station in Warwickshire.

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But their best intentions will have to do according to some who are using the station. Staffs efforts are making up for some lacklustre services elsewhere, says one man who attended the stop-off between Bradford and Huddersfield.

One service station worker, Janette Maud, 60, said: "It’s a lot better than it was, we used to have Portaloos while the toilets were being renovated."

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The car park cleaner added those who were disappointed may have "come on a bad day." She added: "We do our best – especially when you see the things we have to clean up. Like bottles of urine and poo in the lorry area."

The service station offers overnight rooms for as little as £39 a night and has recently fitted tiles into the bathrooms. Some using the station were surprised to hear of its low scoring survey as there were many more "grotty" locations dotted around the country. Lisa and John Morrison, 50 and 56, were visiting from Beverley in East ­Yorkshire and said the staff were "great".

John said: "I think this survey is a bit out of order. I’ve been to far more grotty ones and the staff here are so good. I’d have to agree with the people I spoke to – the staff were great and I’ve stopped off at worse services. But I did have to leg it before I was charged £15 for parking for more than two hours.

Regardless of the "great" staff, Hartshead Moor was voted the worst service station out of 120 analysed in a recent survey for the second time in just as many years.

A spokeswoman for Welcome Break said: "We are disappointed to see Hartshead Moor at the bottom of the list but are incredibly proud of the improvements that Welcome Break has made since last year…we expect to see a considerable improvement in scores for Hartshead Moor in next year's survey."

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