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Motorway Traffic

Volume 173: debated on Tuesday 22 May 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps have been taken to ensure that the number of service stations to be opened under the Government's strategic plans for motorway services areas in England will be adequate to cover his Department's estimate of the increase in the volume of traffic using the motorways after 1992.

The Department's design specifications for new motorway service areas (MSAs) are geared to catering for estimated traffic in the year 2020. There are at present more MSAs planned for existing and new motorways. These are at various stages: two will open soon (Tamworth on M42 and Thurrock on M25) and another four or five sites are expected to be tendered this year for construction and subsequent operation by 1992.There are 42 existing MSAs in England. The Department is reviewing the capacity of each of these with operators. Its aim is to expand sites wherever possible to meet demand at least for 15 years ahead. Where adequate expansion proves impracticable, new infill sites will be sought between existing MSAs.