Friday, December 2, 2022

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ADAC: motorway toilets fail the test

They are intended to offer rest and relaxation to drivers during long journeys: rest areas along motorways. But they often offer dirty and disgusting toilets.

There are around 1,500 so-called unmanaged rest areas

Germany – these are the car parks where there are no typical service area buildings. And in many cases “unmanaged” also seems to mean that they are only sporadically maintained: in an ADAC test of 50 systems along the 15 longest highways, more than one in five systems failed with “poor” or “very poor”. Only two places were rated “very good”. Main critical issues: the “Personal safety” and “Health services” aspects. According to the auto club, little has changed since the last test four years ago.

The best rest areas in the test were Engelmannsbäke on the A1 in Lower Saxony and Plater Berg on the A14 in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The two rest areas Stadtwald on the A3 and Brühlgraben on the A5 in Hesse performed the worst. It actually lacked everything you need for a relaxing break: clean restrooms and well-maintained, well-lit outdoor facilities.

Although in an emergency it doesn’t help if you find one of the scruffy restrooms – most of the restrooms weren’t as bad as feared. 14 toilets, or almost a third, failed with “poor” or “very poor”. 36 were better in the eyes of the testers. However, only about half of all healthcare facilities had no visual problems and hygiene samples were harmless in only 18%.

In 81 percent, there were indications of insufficient cleanliness. Two rest areas even received zero points in the “Healthcare facilities” category, namely Hunsheide on the A61 in Rhineland-Palatinate and Neckarblick on the A81 in Baden-Württemberg: they were permanently closed to the motorway without any warning and without alternatives. If a disabled toilet were signposted on the motorway, it could only be used to a limited extent in almost 80 percent of cases.

The ADAC gave the “personal safety” aspect the worst score: almost a third of the rest areas failed with “poor” or “very poor”. Ten facilities did not receive an emergency call, and more than half of the car and truck parks were not or were not sufficiently lit. At least there was light in all the bathrooms.

ADAC testers most frequently criticized the following points:

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