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Service stations see footfall boost over bank holiday

01 September, 2011

Footfall at motorway service areas increased by more than 12% over the August bank holiday weekend, according to new research from car insurance expert Confused.com and MSA Extra Service Stations.

A total of 3.5 million visitors – an extra 381,000 – visited motorway services over the long weekend, with Strensham Service Station on the M5, one of the busiest.

The Forecourt Trader Awards regular catered for 140,000 visitors, with more than 50,000 cars and caravans passing through, and selling 700,000 litres of fuel. Brits also consumed 19,000 sandwiches and 70,000 hot drinks were served.

Although service stations have increased in popularity, research from Confused.com has revealed a majority of motorists are still failing to take sufficient breaks, with 79% of drivers risking their lives by not stopping during long journeys. One in seven drivers admit they won’t take a break on a four-hour journey.

The research also revealed that 58% of motorists will use motorway services as a ‘Pit-stop and Pee’, preferring to stop for a toilet break and then get straight back in the car. A further 12% of motorway drivers go to sample the roadside cuisine on offer, and 11% of motorists are leg-stretchers and park up only to jump out and take in the service station scenery before getting back on the road.

Meanwhile, one in 10 motorists prefer to park-up and picnic on long journeys - packing their snacks before leaving and pulling up at the service station to tuck in.

To inspire the nation to rekindle its passion for the service station and stay safe on the roads, Confused.com has also joined forces with the UK’s ultimate service station fanatic, Alex Horne, to create a guide to the UK’s best and worst service stations. As part of the Service Station Guide, Alex Horne lists the best boredom-busting service stations that the UK has to offer, as well as the ones motorists might want to avoid.

Gareth Kloet, head of car insurance at Confused.com says: “Our research shows that only 8% of us are service station worshippers. By highlighting the huge variety of great service stations dotted along our motorways, we hope to convertmore motorists to the happy service station side of life! We’re calling for all motorists to re-kindle their passion for the service station and stay safe on the roads.”