Revhead Ramblings: Our Motorway Service Stations are a Neglected Necessity
- December 4, 2018
- Posted by: Alex Baker
- Category: Revhead Ramblings
If you’re driving along one of our many motorways you’re bound to read a sign educating you on the importance of taking a break.
With the rise of plug-in cars too, our motorway services are due to become a focal point of trips, rather than a last-minute splash and dash. Unfortunately, they’re often the same generic concrete block with an under-staffed McDonalds, an overpriced WHSmith’s and a funny smell emanating from the end cubicle…
What We Need
With plug in car numbers increasing year on year, longer stops are going to be the norm to top off batteries. So, the first point to address has to be our lacklustre charging infrastructure; by providing ample, working, charging points not only will EV drivers walk in with a smile on their face, it’s also easy future proofing for the increase in EV sales.
Family areas are also increasing in popularity across our nation’s stations too, there’s only so far a McDonald’s toy can go before the little ones realise just how boring their surroundings are. Entertaining the family has long been a request ignored by service stations nationwide.
They’re Not All Bad
While the majority are owned by either Moto, Welcome Break or Roadchef, recently there’s been a rise in independent vendors. Tebay Services is located just outside of Penrith, between the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, this stopping point is unlike the usual franchised offerings.
Cake and coffee shops, a butchers and outdoor barbecues can be found there, giving a fresh alternative to the standard tedious lunch break. A second Tebay Services has been launched on another site on the M5 now, offering a greener solution that supports local farmers, while also providing quality sustenance for the weary traveller.
Will We Ever Stop Needing Them?
As I previously mentioned, with EVs becoming more mainstream, our stops are likely to become more frequent and longer for our cross-country journeys; that is until our batteries offer a reliable range of 400 miles or more.
Automation may see a reduction in service station use however, fuel efficient driving and less stress on the driver could see us go the full distance on our journeys, opting for a cooked meal at our destination instead.
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