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Motorway Service Stations - a rant

Travel Forums Off Topic Motorway Service Stations - a rant

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1. Posted by mikeyBoab (Travel Guru 5077 posts) 9y

I regularly drive from Glasgow to England. As with most people, I occasionally stop to use the facilities at Motorway Service Stations. Problem is, I'm so sick of the inflated prices, especially in the restaurants. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of alternatives if you don't know the areas you're driving through, which hardly anyone will - it is for this reason that Service Station owners can charge pretty much whatever they want. Why does no one complain? Why do we spend billions at these places every year?

Question is, is this a universal thing? Are the Service Stations in your part of the world the same? Or is this a British thing?

2. Posted by beerman (Respected Member 1631 posts) 9y

Well, here in Freedomland™, we've given up the concept of service.

We regualrly drive 120 miles (9000 km) into Chicago and in northern Illinois we have what are known as "highway oases"....petrol, fast food, restrooms. Fast food is expensive anyway (for what you get) but the prices at the oases are not out of line with anywhere else. Even the petrol is sometimes less expensive than you might find in your own neighborhood.

From my experiences driving around the US, rest stops (often just restrooms and vending machines), wayside facilities, and truck stops are not terribly overpriced. Generally, the people working there are friendly enough because they want return business. I have run into some people that aren't too friendly, but that's more unusual than not.

Why do we spend billions at these places? Because they had the foresight to build service stations exactly where people will need them the most....ah, commerce.

I remember about 30 years ago in California when they were finishing building Interstate 5 (a major highway). They had just finished the whole project, except there was only one service station for a stretch of 300 miles (12,000 km). That one station also had a tow truck....man, did they make a lot of money in just a few months.

Good luck. How long a drive is it anyway?

3. Posted by Jase007 (Travel Guru 8870 posts) 9y

Mikey, just make a packed lunch (loads cheeper).
Hey i think the services have got better, although i'd blow up all the fast food joints and leave the greasy spoon cafe's).

What i've seen if there is any motorway services the fast food joints are all the same.
The best I do is get off the motorway at a junction and head into the nearest town which is usually only 5 mins away. There you have more chance of finding something to your liking and not so expensive.

4. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 9y

We used to have truck stops along highways here (it's a long haul between big cities) that had little mom-and-pop greasy spoons where you could get fantastic hamburgers and fries. Now, though, just about every one has a Tim Hortons (Canada's #1 coffee-doughnut restaurant) and a Harvey's or Wendy's or some other big-name chain.

I miss those greasy burgers with the home-made relish.

5. Posted by marlis (Travel Guru 1167 posts) 9y

Hi Beerman,
I hear many times that in the US everything is bigger and longer,but this is to much;)
120 miles are not 9000 km,only about 193 km
300 miles are not 12 000 km, only about 483 km

one of us two had to much beer
cheers,
Marlis

6. Posted by Jase007 (Travel Guru 8870 posts) 9y

Quoting marlis

Hi Beerman,
I hear many times that in the US everything is bigger and longer,but this is to much;)
120 miles are not 9000 km,only about 193 km
300 miles are not 12 000 km, only about 483 km

one of us two had to much beer
cheers,
Marlis

Just to add a note on this one $100,000,012.26 does equate to £1 or €1.47

7. Posted by mikeyBoab (Travel Guru 5077 posts) 9y

I regularly drive the 225 miles (94,854km or 15.2 light years) from Glasgow to Liverpool Beerman, there are plenty of places to stop but they are all overpriced, I'm talking five pounds for a sandwich (about 10 dollars) or 12 pounds ($24) for a nasty piece of fish and some reheated chips.

ASDA (supermarket chain, our version of Wal-mart) used to do maps of the country showing where their stores were, they used to have small cafes, many have petrol stations and of course you can stock up on stuff for the trip, but they stopped for some reason known only to them.

8. Posted by beerman (Respected Member 1631 posts) 9y

Quoting mikeyBoab

I regularly drive the 225 miles (94,854km or 15.2 light years) from Glasgow to Liverpool Beerman, there are plenty of places to stop but they are all overpriced, I'm talking five pounds for a sandwich (about 10 dollars) or 12 pounds ($24) for a nasty piece of fish and some reheated chips.

We don't have fish here....but wow, you are getting screwed. For a fiver, you can usually get a plate of food bigger than your head!!

Marlis.....c'mon now, admit it....you're working on island distance (like island time, but not) Here in Freedomland™, we travel so fast that what seems like a short distance, when converted to metric, is really long. I blame Canada......

9. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 9y

514 cans of American beer = 10 Canadian beers = 1 pint of German beer

Most of the service stops in the US along the interstates are small malls. 2 or 3 gas stations, usually with a McDonald's, Wendy's or Denny's. I do appreciate the rest stops along the highways in North America. I don't think you have those in Europe. Just a space to park, picnic tables to eat a meal outside of the car, garbage and washrooms. Then there are the "scenic" lookouts found in some places. Just a pull-off, garbage cans, and a nice view to enjoy outside of the car for a few moments.

In Canada we have a truck stop chain called Husky. They have generally pretty good greasy spoon restaurants, gas station, a small shop, toilets, paid showers, and laundromats. The prices are generally pretty good. Their paper table mats in the restaurant is a map showing you all their stations across Canada. That's about as posh as you get interms of service. The only problem is that their stations are not always easy to find, and they're not in the eastern part of the country.

10. Posted by mikeyBoab (Travel Guru 5077 posts) 9y

Try that URL again Q!