MP Ian Liddell-Grainger has called for Bridgwater’s motorway services to be shut down after it was voted the worst in Britain.
The centre, at junction 24, has been ranked bottom out of 68 services across the country in a survey of thousands of Which? members.
Now, says Mr Liddell-Grainger, MP for Bridgwater and Wet Somerset, owners Moto should seriously consider shutting and relocating it to prevent it damaging the West Country’s image any further.
The stop earned just one star out of five in every category reviewed, including the range and quality of its food outlets and shops, cleanliness, convenience and ease of social distancing.
Which? members’ reactions ranged from ‘dirty’, ‘depressing’, ‘unsafe’ and ‘utterly horrible’ to one who simply said ‘everything is awful’.
Bridgwater services was opened some years after the neighbouring facilities at Sedgemoor and Taunton Deane, shoehorned into a confined site and criticised for its poor access from day one.
But, says Mr Liddell-Grainger, the findings of the Which? survey now make it abundantly clear that the centre has to go.
“It’s obvious that it no longer meets the standards drivers expect to find when they take a break from the wheel – if it ever did,” he said.
“The really damaging aspect of this is that it is often the first stop that holidaymakers make in the West Country when they are heading here on holiday.
“To drive into this truly squalid facility must give them a shocking first impression of the region they have arrived in.
“The irony is that just along the road is Pyne’s, a brilliant showcase for food and drink from Somerset and the wider West Country which has won more awards for excellence than it has wall space to display.
“There really couldn’t be a greater contrast in the visitor experience.
“Seventy miles up the M5 is Gloucester services which has been named the best in the country in the same survey. Moto should be hanging its head in shame over the appalling ratings for Bridgwater.
“The obvious course is to close it and demolish it before it does any more damage.”