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Byline: Henryk Zientek News Reporter

TAKING a break at the motorway services could mean taking your life in your hands, it is claimed.

A survey of 85 service areas across England's motorways revealed problems including conflicting signs, worn road markings and bewildering road layouts.

And service areas in West Yorkshire including Hartshead Moor near Brighouse were among the worst.

The survey by the Road Safety Markings Association (RSMA) assessed the external layout of motorway services, including whether pedestrian walkways were in place and whether or not they are "visible, logical and easy to use". The survey scored each site out of a possible 60.

Hartshead Moor on the M62 near Brighouse was given just eight points for a catalogue of issues, including disabled bays lacking hatchings to both sides of the vehicle bay, no drop kerb access for wheelchair users, no pedestrian crossing at the exit to the building and a two-way traffic symbol located on an exit slip road which is only one-way.

Woolley Edge northbound on the M1 near West Bretton was awarded 17 points with the comment that pedestrian access and disabled bays were "poorly considered" with some disabled car doors swinging open into the carriageway.

Woolley Edge southbound rated just nine points with changes to parking bays leaving the roadway "very confusing to negotiate" and narrowing of the roadway in front of the entrance to the building making it "impossible for traffic to travel in two directions".

The survey also noted "poor provision" for pedestrian access from disabled bays to the building.

Birch Services westbound on the M62 scored 18 with the survey comment that it had no pedestrian walkways.

Tebay northbound on the M6 and Norton Canes on M6 Toll were tops scorers with 52 points each as both featured clearly marked zebra crossings with a network of major access walkways.

Twelve service areas got zero due to "inadequate provision" for pedestrians. Common failures in the league table included worn out pedestrian crossings; walkways littered with refuse bins, trees and advertising hoardings; and a zebra crossing leading walkers into manoeuvring traffic.

Welcome Break, operator of Hartshead Moor Services was contacted by the Examiner for a comment but did not respond.

RSMA national director George Lee, said: "Drivers are encouraged to break long journeys.

"They switch from a relatively orderly road with few distractions to a barrage of advertising, direction signs and other drivers in a state of confusion and tension. "Once they leave the car, the rules of the road are abandoned and they are left to weave among rows of parked cars and moving traffic to reach the facilities. For many, this makes 'taking a break' a stressful event."

Website has been set up for drivers to share their experiences.

Zero points The 12 services given no points: Colsterworth (A1 Grantham) Leicester (M1 Markfield) London Gateway (M1) Toddington (M1 Dunstable) Fleet (M3 Basingstoke) Sedgemoor (M5 Somerset) Taunton Dean (M5 Somerset) Charnock Richard (M6 Wigan) Corley (M6 Warwickshire) Chester (M56 Cheshire) Rivington (M61 Bolton) Burtonwood (M62 Warrington))


Hartshead Moor services

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Aug 20, 2015
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