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Motorway Services

Volume 450: debated on Wednesday 11 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of motorway service areas make special provision for overnight stays by truck drivers; what are the 10 longest stretches of motorway between such dedicated provision; and what action his Department is taking to strengthen this service network. (91708)

It is a Government requirement that all motorway service areas (MSAs) must provide parking for all classes of vehicle, including lorries, and must also be open 24 hours a day every day of the year. Truck drivers will therefore be able to park overnight at any MSA.

Currently the longest stretches of motorway between MSAs are:

Miles

Clacket Lane (M25)—Oxford (M40)

71

Clacket Lane (M25)—South Mimms (M25/A1(M))

66

Oxford (M40)—South Mimms (M25/A1(M))

51

Chester (M56)—Birch (M62)

39

Warwick (M40)—Tamworth (M42)

38

Chester (M56)—Charnock Richard (M6)

34

Strensham (M5)—Michaelwood (M5)

34

Thurrock (M25)—South Mimms (M25/A1 (M))

33

Reading (M4)—Heston (M4)

32

Thurrock (M25)—Birchanger Green (M11)

32

Since 1992 it has been Government policy that it is for the private sector to bring forward proposals for new MSAs through the planning process. Current policy aims to encourage a network of MSAs at intervals of roughly 30 miles. This network is broadly complete although there is still a noticeable gap on the western sector of the M25.

Following a public inquiry planning permission has been granted for two MSAs at Cobham (M25 J9-10) and Burtley Wood (M40 J2). Once these are open it will significantly reduce the gaps between Clacket Lane, Oxford and South Mimms MSAs listed in the previous table.

In addition, the Government are prepared to consider granting approval for the signing of good quality truck stops which are situated near to the motorway network.