04 March 2009

How far to a Shell station?

Shell now has a service station locator on its UK website that allows you to plan a journey and produce a map and list all of the Shell stations adjacent to the route. This is a good improvement - they used to allow you only to search by road or town/postcode. I wrote in 2005 to say
It's great to give customers a route for their journey - it would be even better to show the Shell stations on the way.
and further...
I couldn't find any sensible way through the search facilities on your site to work out where on a trip from Hindhead to Durham and back I could fill up with Shell fuel. I know that there are some Shell service areas but I wanted to know where they are. As a driver I don't know which towns/cities/postcodes I'm passing near, so searching by these is useless.

My suggestion: a simple table on your site would have been a big help. It only needs to show
- number of motorway/Ax(M) road,
- name of service area and operator
- which junctions it lies between
- Optimax (now V Power), etc.

I used another website - 5 minutes away (from the motorway) - and eventually tracked down a few.
But now the application produces a map. Hooray! But a stroke of un-genius - the list of service stations is in something that looks related to alphabetical order rather than in the order you'd encounter them on the journey. And the map print-out doesn't scale to show all the labels, so you're back to guesswork again. You can see a pdf (123 KB) of a journey plan from Hindhead to Newcastle here.

Some progress, some still needed. Suggestion: let's have the service stations in the right order for the journey!

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