About the Site
Motorway Services Online (or MSO if you're a fan of unpronounceable acronyms) is the largest and most up-to-date site dedicated to the fascinating subject of motorway services in the UK and Ireland.
The aim is quite simply to collect as much information on them as possible, and in doing so being able to help road users plan journeys and hopefully to unearth some little-known facts about the history of some of these much-unloved places.
Many pages of the site can now be edited by registered members in order to make sure the information is as up-to-date as can be.
Why was Motorway Services Online set up?
Once upon a time (pre-2005), people had to resort to pot-luck when it came to finding the best service area for them to stop at. Today many people have a favourite chain or try to only use services with a particular facility. Others might need to know the exact location of a service area in order to arrange a meeting.
Motorway Services Online provides all that information and tries to make it as easy to access as possible. In particular, it helps people tell others which services to use and which to avoid. We then use our position to try to influence the market to make sure the UK's notorious service stations are getting better at giving people what they want. In Ireland, we'd just like to see enough suitable facilities.
The site still stands by all these original aims, but it tries to combine this with some occasional serious research into the social and architectural reasonings behind the way these soulless places are.
We exist to share information, not to help our favourite chains.
Who uses Motorway Services Online?
As well as helping travellers to plan their breaks, this site has been used by researchers looking for history or news, and by people who are just interested and have a little bit of spare time.
It has also helped with university projects, and excerpts and links to the site have been shared amongst truck and coach driver organisations, among highway authorities and planners, as well as with several international parties looking to compare different country's service stations.
And to everyone who has shaped this site...
I would like to thank everyone who has done something for this site, whether you've been a regular on the Forums even when we've gone for weeks without any postings, or you've been working for a helpdesk and you've had to deal with my many cries for assistance. Perhaps you're one of those people whom the rate and review system relies upon for it to remain up-to-date, or maybe you just correct a few pages every now and again. You lot know who you are and without you the site wouldn't be anything like it is today.
Even if you're just a casual reader, I'd like to thank you for using the site and for inspiring me every day to grow and to continue with it.
OK then, so where's that disclaimer?
Starting with the copyright, take a deep breath, here we go:
By using the site you agree to the following (which may be edited at any time, although any changes will always be marked on Recent Changes).
All content is © Motorway Services Online (or 'the site', 'this site'), unless it is stated otherwise. This includes all text, images and photos. You may quote this site, but when doing so you must make it clear that you are quoting from it and include a link back to the page it came from.
Every effort is made to ensure that the information provided on this site is accurate (and it can be easily corrected by others where it isn't), but no guarantee is made. The nature of the subject means that Motorway Services Online often has to catch up with changes being made and finer details (such as parking prices, availability of a play area and the 'signed as' field) may remain outdated for several months.
We accept no liability for any problems that may arise due to information provided by this site, in the forums, in emails owned by this domain or on official Motorway Services Online social networking pages. User contributions may not have been verified so we do not necessarily endorse all the information that we provide, and users are responsible for verifying the information they contribute. Like any source of information, this website should be used with care.
If you believe that this site is carrying incorrect or other information that it shouldn't be hosting, please get in touch. We act to remove any such items as soon as possible.
Finally, if you have any queries, don't hesitate to contact me.
Use Of Our Photos
If you click on most photos on this site, it will tell you underneath who took it. If this includes the phrase "for Motorway Services Online", you are permitted to use that photo on your website and publication, provided you credit "Motorway Services Online" (if online) or "motorwayservicesonline.co.uk" / "motorwayservices.ie" (if printed) where appropriate. Websites must also ensure the photo is saved on their own server.
If the photo credit doesn't include "for Motorway Services Online", we may still be able to licence you the image, but check with us because we'll need to get permission first. Others may include a link to the original source or licence.
Most images on this site carry a small watermark. This does not imply Motorway Services Online created the image, but serves to identify when work has been lifted from this site without credit. Higher resolution and non-watermarked images may be made available when requested.
This section of the website used to be written frivolously, because we don't do anything unreasonable with your data. However, in light of recent events, it makes sense to specify everything we ask for.
When emailing the website, your are asked for your name and email address to allow us to reply. If your message should have been directed to an operator it will be forwarded to them, but other than this your details will not be passed on. Except for serious circumstances, the content of your message will be kept private.
When joining the website, you are asked for your email address in order to verify that you are human (to prevent robots sabotaging the website). There is the option of receiving email notifications, but there are no mailshots. Your email address will be kept private and will not be forwarded on, although we may use it to contact you directly if we have a concern about your account. There is the option of allowing other members to email you, but this will be done via a form without them seeing your email address.
There is the option of providing profile information such as your name, location or interests to enhance the community nature of the website. These are certainly not mandatory but will be publicly visible.
As with the majority of websites, we use Google Analytics to monitor web traffic. This allows us to see which pages are popular, but does not disclose any personal or identifying detail.
Examples of these partners include Google Analytics, Google Adsense, Facebook, Twitter and AddThis.
All common browsers allow you to refuse these cookies with little action required. Cookies are best explained by the website Cookies & You, or by Google's own policy. Please consult your browser's manual or a search engine to see how refuse, remove or ignore cookies - although note that nearly all websites will try to set cookies for you, even if they aren't as honest about it.