M1 truck stop becomes unlikely tourist attraction after being named best in Europe | UK | News

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M1 truck stop becomes unlikely tourist attraction after being named best in Europe | UK | News

A truck stop along the M1 has become an unlikely tourist destination after being named the best in Europe – with visitors flocking to its pub, restaurant and gift shop.

The Red Lion Truck Stop has seen members of the public as well as truckers visiting to sample its cheap beers and famous curries, burgers and Sunday roasts.

The stop-off near Northampton was named the best facility of its kind in Europe after 40 per cent of lorry drivers across the continent voted it their favourite.

It boasts 200 spaces, shower and launderette facilities, a shop selling CB radios and high-vis jackets – but also offers food and drink with live sports on big screens.

Owner Ali Sadrudin, 38, said the site is proving a surprise hit with the general public who even visit the venue for nights out at weekends where it’s £3 a pint.

The family-run converted former pub also has meeting and conference rooms, a function room, a petrol station, a truck wash and is guarded 24 hours a day.

Ali said he wanted to get away from the stereotype of greasy spoon truck stops and provide high-quality facilities for HGV drivers.

The dad-of-three, of Barnet, North London, has run The Red Lion with wife Zarfeen, 40, for the past 17 years.

He said: « We bought it as a pub with a massive car park with permission to turn it into a hotel but it sort of just morphed naturally into becoming a truck stop. »

« We had lots of lorry drivers stopping off here anyway for a coffee and food as it was near the motorway and we saw the opportunity and went for it. »

M1 truck stop becomes unlikely tourist attraction after being named best in Europe

M1 truck stop becomes unlikely tourist attraction after being named best in Europe

Owner of the Red Lion Truck Stop Ali Sadrudin. Red Lion Truck Stop in Northampton, Northamptonshire (Image: Joseph Walshe / SWNS)

« We wanted to turn it into something that wasn’t your normal services which can be quite clinical and having the feel of a traditional community pub helped that. »

« Drivers can come here, we’ve got guards, you’ve got safety, but once you come inside, you’ve got food, drink, the shower facilities, laundry facilities and a shop. »

« You usually get fast food of some some sort at most services and we wanted to provide quality meals in a proper restaurant and move away from the stereotypical greasy spoon truck stop. »

« So you come in and you’re greeted by a bar and a friendly face. Our home-cooked curries are the most popular and we serve big portions. »

« They are about a tenner and a pint is around £3 – we try to keep the prices low as we can too. I think that’s why we get a lot of people who aren’t truckers in too. »

« We can get families in at the weekends who come for a Sunday roast or businessmen in the week on their laptops having a coffee. »

« The shop is almost like an Amazon for lorry drivers – full of all the essentials but also impulse buys and merchandise. »

« There’s cleaning products, phone chargers, toiletries, CB radios, tools and tobacco but also cooking equipment too – like portable stoves and kettles. »

« It’s gone from being me and the wife to having a team of 28 and we get lorry drivers in from across the whole of Europe so we try to have bi-lingual staff as well. »

« We just try to create a relaxing environment for lorry drivers after long shifts on the roads and provide them with everything they could need. »

M1 truck stop becomes unlikely tourist attraction after being named best in Europe

Red Lion Truck Stop in Northampton, Northamptonshire on April 10 2024. The truckstop has been voted (Image: Joseph Walshe / SWNS)

The competition saw nearly 1,000 votes from across Europe to decide the trucking community’s favourite stop, which sits along the A4500 close to junction 16.

The Red Lion beat off competition from the Chippeham Pit Stop, near Bristol, the Route 74 Truck Stop in Lanark, Scotland, and Rasthof Korfez 61 in Wiesentheid, Germany.

Voters highlighted the communal feel of the site as well as a good range of facilities and its safety and security.

Ali said next on the agenda was installing electric vehicle chargers and opening a hotel down the road.

He added: « The award means a lot to us, to our customers, it’s a thank you to them. »

« It means they appreciate what we do. We want to do better for them and will continue to invest to make it an even better place to come. »

« A lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into getting to this point so we are really delighted with the recognition. »

Trucker Ross Lansem, 45, of Knutsford, Cheshire, who has been driving HGVs for 20 years, stops at the Red Lion at least two times a week.

He said: « The facilities here are just second to none. The whole place is always clean especially the showers and it has everything you could ever need. »

« It’s got a great atmosphere and feels like a community pub. »

M1 truck stop becomes unlikely tourist attraction after being named best in Europe

Red Lion Truck Stop in Northampton, Northamptonshire on April 10 2024. The truckstop has been voted (Image: Joseph Walshe / SWNS)

« The food is great – I usually have the peri-peri chicken and a pint if I stop overnight in my cab. The breakfasts are amazing too. »

« We even watched the Euros final in here and it was brilliant as you had loads of English lorry drives on one side of the room and Italian drivers on the other. »

« The shop sells merchandise but also spare parts, headlight bulbs, travel microwaves and kettles – anything a driver needs really. »

« I also run a Facebook group for truckers and Ali always helps out for charity fundraisers we do. »

« It deserves its accolade as the best truck stop in Europe. »

Myra McPartlin, head of commercial sales at SNAP, which ran the competition, said: « This award was decided by the drivers who traverse endlessly across Europe using truck stops and their facilities daily. »

« The response we’ve received from the trucking community has been phenomenal – we’d like to thank all who voted. »

« Every finalist on the shortlist was a worthy contender, and The Red Lion Truck Stop proved a deserving winner. »

« Their innovative thinking and dedication to providing the trucking community with high-quality facilities and security is paving the way for a new standard of truck stops. »

Cet article est apparu en premier en ANGLAIS sur https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1887298/m1-truck-stop-best-in-europe


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