Yesterday evening I stopped for the first time in the newly opened motorway service station along the M4 motorway near Enfield in county Meath. I was very impressed with the facilities with a number of different food outlets available including, Costa Coffee for the adults, Burger Kids for the youngsters. There was even a play centre for the kids to run off some energy and a number of showers which could be used to freshen up after a long journey. I must say I was very impressed, the facilities were clean (of course a cynic would point out that there was hardly any time for them to get dirty yet).
The Irish Motorway network is only fairly recently built. Initially the National Roads Authority were reluctant to build any service stations. The motorway network started off as a few a few isolated stretches of motorway quality road so this was not a big problem. However, when the network was completed there was public outcry because now people were faced with long journeys with no obvious places to take a break. The National Roads Authority finally relented and agreed to build some service stations. I am glad to see that when they finally built the service stations they did so in some style.