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Motorway Services UK


Keith T

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Whilst I try to avoid them other than for a very quick stop, I have just checked out Exeter M% J30 services as I have to meet my wife there tonight.......I - fortunately- will only be there if all goes well for a few minutes, and will be in the car anyway,,,,,

BUT I was appalled to see that if you are in a motorhome, and need to stay over two hours the charge is £25.50! This is ridiculous, as there 's a sign on the m5 as you approach - one of the usual ones - saying tiredness kills, take a break!!

Its not as though there's anything there, and I see that if you are HGV you do at least get a "10 food voucher!!

You could have two nights on a campsite down here for that cost!!

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stevec176 - 2018-03-29 12:09 PM

 

Why would anyone want to stay longer than 2 hours???

 

There are many who do this for trips to West country, we've done it in past, finish work on a friday, eat evening meal (to allow rush hour to die down) head across to m4 then down m5, around midnight pull into services and stop, 6am set off and finish journey.

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Before we holidayed abroad in the sun we too used to use Motorway service areas for a quick and convenient overnight stop, mainly when we lived in Cornwall and were heading to Northern Scotland - but not at £25.50 - that's three weeks worth of Aires in France !!
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Most if not all motorway service stations in the UK are poor with many trying to park a motorhome is hard going. As for the charge that is well out of line. Go to Europe and a totally different story. Would never park overnight on a motorway service station in any country. Just use them for a quick stop. B-)
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You can thank Margaret Thatcher for selling off our public owned Motorway Services so they are now run for profit, rather than a public service.This is the fundamental difference between UK motorway services, and the rest of Europe where overnight parking is free.

The only thing that has improved since privatisation is the food. But then food in general has improved so motorway food would probably have improved anyway.

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Having used Motorways since they were first introduced in the 60's the services at the service areas were always run by private companies and there has always been a charge to park for more than 2 hours, although the charge did vary between sites, so nothing much has changed in the 50 years since those days.

 

Whether or not ownership of the land has changed I know, or care, not as the cost of renting the land is likely little different to the cost of buying it in the real world, but to use this thread as yet another Tory bashing party political broadcast is childish in the extreme, but no more than the rest of us expect from looney leftists.

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I don’t recall Margaret Thatcher “selling off our public owned motorway services”. To the best of my knowledge these have always been operated by private companies. This link refers

 

https://motorwayservicesonline.co.uk/Motorway_service_area

 

I asked my wife about this as she was involved in an analysis in the 70s regarding what measures might be taken to improve motorway service areas and she said the same thing - that the service areas were never publicly operated.

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Tracker - 2018-03-31 3:47 PM

 

Having used Motorways since they were first introduced in the 60's the services at the service areas were always run by private companies and there has always been a charge to park for more than 2 hours, although the charge did vary between sites, so nothing much has changed in the 50 years since those days.

 

Whether or not ownership of the land has changed I know, or care, not as the cost of renting the land is likely little different to the cost of buying it in the real world, but to use this thread as yet another Tory bashing party political broadcast is childish in the extreme, but no more than the rest of us expect from looney leftists.

Youre wrong as usual.

The situation has fundamentally changed. Politics is inescapable because the reason for the change is Tory (specifically Thatcherite) political dogma.

Yes the cafe's were leased to private owners when the land they stand on was public owned.

But overnight parking at motorway services was free before Thatcher flogged off the land they stand on.

Now we have the disgusting behaviour of forcing tired drivers on to the motorway under threat of swingeing parking charges. >:-( Nowhere else in Europe would put up with this. >:-)

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Derek Uzzell - 2018-03-31 4:05 PM

 

I don’t recall Margaret Thatcher “selling off our public owned motorway services”.

 

Well I do - and I recall what she sold them for, a paltry £67 million (although I don't recall what she squandered the proceeds on)

Quote

'they were instructed to sell all of them, in a process known as disposals.'

https://motorwayservicesonline.co.uk/Highways_England

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I can't speak for the very early days, but having used motoways for over 50 years I can assure you that overnight parking was never free so you using politcal clap trap to try and convince normal people that your postings are correct is stupid and arrogant - typical Labour.

If you really insist you are right please post some definitive proof rather than red mist politically biased wishful thinking.

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Tracker - 2018-03-31 3:47 PM

childish in the extreme, but no more than the rest of us expect from looney leftists.

 

You accuse others of being childish before name calling 'looney leftists' to those who would keep vital infrastructure in public ownership - to avoid tired drivvers being forced on to the motorway >:-)

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Why, oh why does this have to and up in a political wrangling match....it has NOYTHING to do with politics, all I stated was that I thought the charge was excessive.

On the other side of the coin, having visited Exeter services a couple of days ago, I was very impressed with the standards there now, and indeed other newer service areas which we have briefly stopped at, have been equally good.

 

Since certain contributors wish to make unnecessary political arguments, I really wonder why I bother posting in the first place...........the world changes, for better or worse, and as far as I am concerned I will make my choices despite some attempt to involve party politics.

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John52 - 2018-03-31 4:20 PM

You accuse others of being childish before name calling 'looney leftists' to those who would keep vital infrastructure in public ownership - to avoid tired drivvers being forced on to the motorway >:-)

 

Public or private land ownership has nothing to do with the way service areas are run and they have always been run by private enterprise.

Given any government's record at running anything I somehow doubt that any political party would have made a better - sorry less worse - job.

Years of experience of Labour mismanagement and their proven record over a long time, not to mention their politically motivated greed and antics lead me to use the term looney left and this thread is not turning out to disprove that.

I still await definitive proof of your claims.

 

 

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorway_service_area

 

The following extract refers to the lease which suggests the land is owned by the state and not the operator.

 

"The operating company must also pay the full cost of constructing the entry and exit slip roads and all other features required for safe access to motorway services, as well as the motorway services facility itself. In other countries[where?], the authority responsible for the highway tends to subsidise these costs on the grounds that these areas are partly a public service to drivers. The leases provide that motorway services must operate 24 hours a day, and the costs of providing utilities and services are high.[12] With very few customers in the early morning, they need to earn the money in other ways.

Under the terms of the leases, motorway services must provide free short-term parking (2 hours), free 24-hour toilet facilities, and adequate provision for the sale of food and fuel 24 hours a day."

 

It would be interesting to see any contradictory evidence?

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I remember overnight parking at motorway services used to be free like the rest of Europe.

Always more difficult to prove a negative, if there had been a charge it would be realtively easy to find out what.

Your link refers to operators (since Thatcher's privatisation) having to pay the cost of slip roads for new motorway services.

Which is why they now plant one on a roundabout, despite greatly increased trafic volumes, causing severe traffic congestion, and deterring tired drivers from pulling in. Instead of one each side the motorway served by slip roads like the rest of Europe and like they used to be in Britain before Thatcher f*cked them up..

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Keith T - 2018-03-31 4:25 PM

 

Why, oh why does this have to and up in a political wrangling match....it has NOYTHING to do with politics, .

 

So why is motorway parking different from the rest of the EU?

The reason is inseparable from politics.

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Some history here for those that care!

 

https://motorwayservicesonline.co.uk/Original_Five

 

Newport Pagnell like a few others was originally one side of the M1 in 1960 and access to the Southbound car park was by way of a footbridge, as were many others, long long before Mrs T was in power.

Only when volume justified were services built on the opposite sides of these services to replace the footbridges.

Operators have always had to pay for access roads etc as well as the lease which partly explains the high prices.

Stop obfuscating and admit you are wrong

 

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John52 - 2018-03-31 5:00 PM

So why is motorway parking different from the rest of the EU?

The reason is inseparable from politics.

 

On that basis do we speak English and drive on the left and have an NHS due to political mis management?

 

It's got nothing to do with politics - thank heaven for small mercies - heaven help us if any government ever ran service areas!

 

However in the interets of fairness does anyone else recall overnight parking on motorway services ever being free ?

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Yes, certainly on the M6 on the way to Blackpool. Used to overnight there, can't remember the name, just before the turn to Blackpool at around 2400hrs after driving up from Essex after work.

 

However I don't believe charging has anything to do with Government or Margeret Thatcher and anyway it is certainly not a question to be discussed here in my opinion!!

 

Bas

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Tracker - 2018-03-31 5:11 PM

 

Some history here for those that care!

 

https://motorwayservicesonline.co.uk/Original_Five

 

Newport Pagnell like a few others was originally one side of the M1 in 1960 and access to the Southbound car park was by way of a footbridge, as were many others, long long before Mrs T was in power.

Only when volume justified were services built on the opposite sides of these services to replace the footbridges.

Operators have always had to pay for access roads etc as well as the lease which partly explains the high prices.

Stop obfuscating and admit you are wrong

 

Well that link says 'The Ministry would pay for the landscaping and parking areas'.

It does not say 'Operators have always had to pay for access roads etc' so thats just something else you have made up.

Is it worth asking again

So why is motorway parking different from the rest of the EU?

or are you just going to ignore it again?

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