A motorway service station in Cumbria has become the first to achieve a five-star rating in VisitEngland's Motorway Service Area Star Ratings scheme.
The national tourist board handed the award - the highest of its kind - to Tebay South in Cumbria, owned by operator Westmorland.
The services, adjoining an award-winning farm which supplies it with meat, and which has its own on-site butcher's counter, was commended for its cleanliness, customer service, and quality food made from locally-sourced produce.
Janet Uttley, VisitEngland's visitor attraction quality assurance scheme manager, said: "The team at Tebay South are to be warmly congratulated on being the first MSA in the country to achieve a five-star rating; our assessors were impressed by their dedication to providing a memorable, high-quality experience to their customers. The Motorway Service Area Star Ratings scheme is focused on raising quality, and we are delighted to see that so many operators have embraced the scheme and used it as a business development tool."
The top award came in a year during which VisitEngland said quality in motorway service stations had improved across the board. There was a 19% increase in the number of four-star ratings compared with last year, and 88% of participants in the scheme were awarded a three-star rating or above.
Working with the Highways Agency and the six main operators of motorway service areas - Moto, Welcome Break, Roadchef, Extra, Westmorland and EuroGarages - VisitEngland conducted three waves of assessments over the past 12 months and awarded the 107 participating MSAs with their appropriate star rating based on these visits.
By Neil Gerrard
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