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Study finds only 1 of 684 German motorway rest areas meets highest standard

Of the 684 motorway service areas tested by the Auto Club Europa (ACE) only one met the highest standards, reveals the the auto club's latest study.

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As part of this year’s ACE Club initiative under the motto “Your Germany, your rest areas”, around 700 volunteers in the ACE took a close look at unattended rest areas throughout Germany over the past six months.

A similar test was carried out by the ADAC auto club during the summer, and both inspections arrived at the same result; the toilets at many rest areas are not clean enough.

Large discrepancies between facilities with and without toilet

As large differences arose and for better comparison, the auto club made a distinction during the evaluation between rest areas with and without toilets. While 11% of the rest areas with toilets were rated “excellent”, not a single facility without toilets came close to doing as well.

Only 7% of the facilities with a toilet failed, but a quarter of the rest areas without a toilet did fail.

There were also major differences when looking at the individual criteria; three-quarters of all facilities with toilets were classified as safe for the public by the ACE, while only 34% of rest areas without toilets could be classified as safe.

According to the findings, the discrepancy is even more obvious when it comes to accessibility: 87% of all toilet rest areas were found to be accessible in the test, while only 6% achieved this in the case of facilities without a toilet.

Most beautiful rest area in Germany boasts view of the Baltic Sea

One rest area in Schleswig-Holstein was particularly impressive across all federal states; the “Ostseeblick” facility on the A1 was the only one in Germany to get maximum points.

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The rest area was particularly convincing in both tests in terms of cleanliness and hygiene, as well accessible parking spaces and toilets, the report says.

The Rathsburgseen North and South rest areas in Brandenburg got the best results among the rest areas without a toilet. Both achieved 10 points each, which, however, only equals a “very good” mark.

The worst facilities, each with only two points, are the Sippenwies facility on the A3 in North Rhine-Westphalia in the “with toilet” category and the Zapfendorf rest area on the A73 in Bavaria without a toilet.

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