VisitEngland announces UK’s first five-star motorway service station

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Posted / Last update: 11-06-2012
VisitEngland, the national tourist board, has awarded the UK’s first five-star rating under its Motorway Service Area Star Ratings scheme. Family-run Tebay South in Cumbria is the first site in the country to achieve the top rating in a year which saw quality at motorway service stations improve across the board. There was a 19 per cent increase in the number of 4-star ratings compared to last year, and 88 per cent of participants in the scheme were awarded a 3-star rating or above

The Motorway Service Area (MSA) quality scheme has been carefully devised to cover areas that are of key importance to customers. Working with the Highways Agency and the six main operators of motorway service areas – Moto, Welcome Break, Roadchef, Extra, Westmorland and EuroGarages - VisitEngland conducted 3 waves of assessments over the last 12 months and awarded the 107 participating MSAs with their appropriate star rating based on these visits.

On each visit, the Assessor follows the whole of the customer journey, from initial arrival right through to the use of facilities, retail and catering outlets to departure. The assessment takes into account the quality and range of facilities and services for all aspects within an MSA. After all three visits have taken place, each individual site is provided with reports covering eight key sections – catering, cleanliness, food, forecourt, retail, service, site and toilets.

Tebay South, owned by operator Westmorland, excelled in all key areas of the assessment, and was particularly commended for its cleanliness, customer service, and quality food made from locally-sourced produce. The services adjoin an award-winning farm, which supplies the onsite butchers counter with fresh beef and lamb, and bacon is sourced from local Cumbrian farmers. Home-baked bread and cakes are served in the cafe, and the team also runs a very popular farm shop.

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