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Least and most family-friendly motorway service stations unveiled

AS BRITISH families hit the motorways for their much-anticipated summer retreats, a new study highlights the service stations to embrace and those to bypass, especially when children are onboard.

The study, undertaken by electric vehicle leasing firm DriveElectric, appraised UK service stations based on the availability of children’s playgrounds, eateries, and other amenities.

The Bad News

Topping the list of the least family-friendly stop-offs is the Heart of Scotland’s Harthill Services in North Lanarkshire. Offering just one place to eat and devoid of any children’s play area, it scored an abysmal 0/10.

Hot on its heels are Bothwell (southbound) and Severn View in Bristol, with three eateries each and no children’s playgrounds. Both earned a mere 0.06/10, landing them in joint second place. Notably, Swansea West Services also made the list, with four eateries but no child-friendly areas, resulting in a 0.17/10 score.

The Good News

However, it’s not all bleak news for travelling families. Leeds Skelton Lake Services on the M1 emerged as the champion of family-friendly stops. Boasting 17 eateries and a dedicated nature reserve, it deservedly clinched a perfect 10/10. Beaconsfield Services in Buckinghamshire followed closely with a 9.95/10, thanks to its 16 eateries and a children’s play area.

Cherwell Valley Services in Bicester and Cobham Services in Surrey shared the third spot, each with 13 eateries and play areas, securing a 9.67/10 score, making them ideal halts for families.

Electric Vehicle Charging Insights

For those driving electric vehicles, the survey unearthed some useful tidbits. Scotch Corner services emerged as the most economical charging station, priced at a mere £0.50/kWh. This is notably cheaper than the study’s average charging cost, which stands at £0.62/kWh. On the pricier end of the spectrum is Sarn Park, demanding a steep £0.76/kWh.

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For those inclined towards a bit of retail therapy, Tebay and Gloucester are the places to be, each housing six shops.

For a comprehensive look at the results and accompanying visuals, DriveElectric’s full study can be accessed here.