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Select Car Leasing

Highway to Hell: M25 outed as WORST motorway to get stuck on

THE M25 has been outed as the WORST motorway in the UK when it comes to needing a WEE - as it boasts the biggest gap between services.

A new independent survey by leading UK leasing firm Select Car Leasing shows that one in 10 men – and six per cent overall – had resorted to pulling up on the hard shoulder to take a leak.

That’s not just highly dangerous, it’s also illegal – unless it’s an emergency, a breakdown or you’re told to do so by police – and carries at least a £100 fine and three penalty points on your licence.


And now research by Select Car Leasing has highlighted the UK’s largest gaps between motorway services - with the M25 London orbital being the biggest nightmare for those prone to getting caught short.

The service station-less stretch of M25 that runs from Cobham, Surrey, to South Mimms, Herts, is 43 miles long.

That’d take you a leg-crossing 37 minutes to cover the distance - leaving you sitting uncomfortably behind the wheel if you’re desperate for a comfort break.

There’s also a dishonourable mention for the M40 and M54 - as these two combine to form the ‘longest practical journey which can be made entirely by motorway without passing any service areas’, according to Motorway Services Online, who helped Select Car Leasing compile the data.


The stretch of motorway in question runs from the M40 at Warwick to Telford on the M54 - and constitutes 63 miles of toilet-less hell.

A spokesperson for Motorway Services Online adds: “This involves taking the faster route via Birmingham Airport - the alternative route via the M5 is slightly longer but does pass service areas.”


Mark Tongue, company director at Select Car Leasing, says motorists need to be aware of just how long you might be required to hold it in.

He says: “We’ve all been there - caught short and desperately counting down the miles before you reach the next service station.

“And it’s not just unpleasant, it can also be dangerous, too.

“When you desperately need the loo, your concentration drifts and you lose focus, as you instead fantasise about relieving yourself.

“When you’re piloting a moving vehicle down a busy motorway at 70mph plus, it’s a distraction that’s highly likely to impair your driving skill.

“It’s worth familiarising yourself with the distances between motorway services on stretches of road you use frequently.

“And if you know you’re about to embark on a long journey, plan comfort breaks in advance so that you’re not caught short.”

Highways England recently warned that around 100 people are killed on motorway hard shoulders each year.


And if you cause an accident, you could be charged with careless driving - and hit with a £5,000 fine, up to nine penalty points and even a lengthy driving ban.


Mr Tongue says anyone who stops on the hard shoulder to relieve themselves is taking their life - and the lives of others - into their hands.

He adds: “Accidents on the hard shoulder happen all too frequently and regularly have grave consequences.

“If you’re urinating, with your back to the traffic not watching what’s going on around you, you are quite simply a sitting duck.

“No matter how desperate you are, keep going until you hit the services - or simply pull off at the nearest junction and use Google Maps to find the nearest restroom.”

Motorways: the good, the bad, and the ugly

The ‘biggest and busiest’ is Cobham on the M25.

Motorway Services Online says: “It stretches across two floors and only opened in 2012, filling a large gap on a very busy section of motorway. Its 36-pump petrol station is one of the biggest in Britain.”

The smallest:

“If we take "motorway services" to mean any service station that is signposted from a motorway (as we do), then Appleby Magna (on the M42) and Old Inns (on the M80) both have little more than a petrol station. This means they are likely to be the smallest and the quietest; Old Inns is marginally smaller.”

The longest logical motorway journey you can do before reaching a service area is by joining the A329(M) at Reading, and heading for the M1 in Bedfordshire, where the first service area is at Toddington - 58 miles along.

The longest end-to-end, logical motorway journey you can make without passing any service areas at all is from the M58 near Bootle to the M67 near Mottram, which would be 52 miles.

The longest motorway without any service areas at all is the M60, which is 36 miles long. As it's a ring road, you're unlikely to go the whole length.

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