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Motorway Service Areas

Volume 177: debated on Monday 23 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many of the planned motorway service areas have been built; and what reasons he has identified for the delay between the opening of the M25 and the opening of motorway service areas.

Of the 59 motorway service areas (MSAs) planned by the Department, 43 are built and operating. In addition Thurrock MSA is in operation but with catering provided in temporary buildings. The main amenity building will be completed in 1991; the rest of the development is finished.On the M25 we intend to provide four MSAs. Services at South Mimms and Thurrock are open. At Clacket Lane, near Westerham, progress had been delayed by public inquiry and High Court proceedings, but we expect to seek tenders for a developer-operator shortly. M25 widening proposals caused us to abandon our plan to provide services at Iver. We are looking again at how best to provide services on that part of the motorway.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the current motorway service areas on the M25 will be able to cope with the increased traffic arising from the opening of the channel tunnel.

All motorway service areas are designed to cope with forecast traffic levels for the stretch of motorway served. We are continuing to assess the need for additional MSAs or expansion of existing ones following the announcement of the increased road building programme detailed in the "Roads for Prosperity" White Paper and the publication of the new national road traffic forecasts last year. On the M25 there are four MSAs planned, two of which are now open. We will keep under review the need for additional services on the M25.