THE best and worst motorway service stations in the country have been revealed - and it's not good news for one in Cheshire.

Sandbach services - located between junctions 16 and 17 on the M6 - is ranked among the worst five analysed by consumer group Which?

It performed slightly better than the very worst site, Bridgwater services on the M5 in Somerset, which was awarded just one star out of five for all categories, including cleanliness, range of facilities and prices.

The Moto-owned site in Somerset received an overall customer score of just 32%.

Recent visitors described the venue as “dirty” and “depressing”, and others complained of a urine smell and toilet paper strewn on the floor.

Another claimed it “should be demolished”.

Bridgwater’s location means it is often used by tourists heading to and from Cornwall and Devon.

Winsford Guardian:

At the other end of the scale, Gloucester services – an hour’s drive up the M5 – was ranked number one.

It received four of five stars for all categories, with a customer score of 86%.

One visitor said it was “as far from a typical motorway stop as you can imagine”, with customers praising its “fabulous” farm shop selling home-cooked meals and local produce.

How services in Cheshire and North West scored

Sandbach services was given an overall customer score of just 42%, and handed one star out of five for prices and range of facilities.

It came 65th of the 68 service stations analysed.

Another nearby site - Keele services between junctions 15 and 16 of the M6 - also scored poorly with 42% and came 64th overall.

Elsewhere in Cheshire, Knutsford services scored 48% and finished 46th and Chester services, at junction 14 of the M56, scored 51% and came 31st.

Also in the North West, neither of the two Lancashire entries on the list fared well, with Charnock Richard and Lancaster services ranked 52nd and 53rd respectively.

Birch services off the M62 in Greater Manchester ranked slightly higher in 43rd place.

The findings were based on around 5,600 experiences by 2,700 consumers at 68 motorway service areas.

Rory Boland, editor of magazine Which? Travel, said: “The results of our survey show that it pays to plan ahead to avoid some of the UK’s worst motorway services.

“It could be the difference between a home-cooked meal in peaceful surroundings, or crowded queues in downright dirty facilities.

“Whether you’re zipping down the M5 towards the beaches on the south-west coast, or up the M6 towards the Scottish border, make sure your journey isn’t spoiled by a stop at a shoddy service station.”

Moto CEO Ken McMeikan said: “I am appalled by the score at our Bridgwater site.

“This does not reflect the standards we aspire to across all of our sites and I can absolutely guarantee that all of the issues raised will be dealt with immediately to ensure we get Bridgwater back to the standard we know our customers expect and deserve.”

Here are the top five, with their customer score in brackets:

1. Gloucester (86%)

2. Tebay (83%)

3. Cairn Lodge (69%)

4. Norton Canes (65%)

5. Wetherby (61%)

And here are the bottom five:

64. Keele (42%)

65. Sandbach (42%)

66. Newport Pagnell (41%)

67. Gordano (40%)

68. Bridgwater (32%)