Small motorway services allowed
The shift away from multi- million-pound developments covered by extensive planning regulations to more convenient, less intrusive service areas with greater competition will be announced today by John MacGregor, the Secretary of State for Transport.
The deregulation of motorway services may find favour with environmentalists, who have opposed the building of extensive service areas because of the destruction they have wrought in rural areas. The new service areas will still be subject to planning permission, but the facilities they provide will be determined by the market.
Under the old rules, motorway service stations were built at intervals of about 30 miles and required to open 24 hours a day with lavatories, petrol and extensive cafeterias on both sides of the motorway. This led to lengthy delays in the provision of services. The M25, one of the busiest roads in the world, has only one service area along its 117-mile length. Other motorway 'deserts' include the M40 link from London to Birmingham and the M23 from London to Brighton.
Mr MacGregor's predecessor, Malcolm Rifkind, announced in February that the Department of Transport would be putting out to consultation two options: for limited but continued DoT control on service areas, and deregulation. The Government has taken the more radical option, but is expected to offer assurances that it should allow small-scale, more frequent services and not provoke a free-for-all leading to extensive retail or leisure complexes, such as one near the Dartford Bridge on the M25, which was feared by the Countryside Commission and the Council for the Protection of Rural England.
The commission said it opposed more frequent service areas on motorways and urged the Government to limit them in national parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty to providing only fuel, telephones and lavatories.
Ministers will be presenting the changes as part of the Citizen's Charter to provide a more convenient service to the public.
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Man to be beheaded in Saudi Arabia after ripping up a Koran and hitting it with his shoe
- 3 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
Stephen Hawking's wife Jane Wilde on their marriage breakdown: 'The family were left behind'
British are sexually uptight, dirty and drink too much – according to Spanish book
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
Kelly Osbourne leaves Fashion Police after Zendaya dreadlocks racism row
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...
£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...