Written statement to Parliament

Policy on service areas and other roadside facilities on motorways and all-purpose trunk roads in England

Announcing a change to the policy to permit the development of truckstops on the motorway network.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Rt Hon Mike Penning MP

This statement is to inform the House that following closure of the roadside facilities policy consultation on 2 July last year, I have reviewed the responses and am introducing a change to the policy to permit the development of truckstops on the motorway network.

The consultation identified strong support from the haulage industry for the development of truckstops. Proposals for dedicated truckstop facilities will now be considered in the context of existing and proposed rest facilities on the strategic road network, and will be determined on their individual merit. This will include truckstop facilities that can be accessed direct from motorways - motorway truckstops - which are a type of facility not permitted until now. Where there is evidence to demonstrate that demand for lorry parking exceeds supply, the development of truckstop facilities at existing service areas would be viewed favourably. Proposals for motorway truckstops are unlikely to be supported if they would prevent a potential motorway service area (MSA) being built.

Detailed advice on the mandatory and permitted features of all categories of truckstop is set out in the table that is attached at appendix 1 to the written copy of my statement.

These changes supplement ‘DfT circular 01/2008 (April 2008)’. Aspects of policy not touched on in this statement will continue to apply.

I am currently considering ways to reduce regulation, increase competition and improve still further the quality of motorway service areas. To this end, I have instructed officials in my department to identify those elements of the policy that might instead be better determined at a local level through the current planning system.

I have also instructed my officials to work with the Department for Communities and Local Government to consider how best to take these issues forward in the context of the national planning policy framework. Separately, we will produce an associated DfT technical note, setting out requirements in respect of road safety and operational issues.

This approach accords with the government’s twin aims of decentralisation and localism, reducing the burden of bureaucracy and strengthening local accountability. It will encourage competition and, through this, improve service for users.

Appendix 1

Truckstops serving the strategic road network - features and levels of provision

Features and levels of provision Truckstops on motorways Truckstops signed from motorways Truckstops on all-purpose trunkroads
Opening times 24 hours a day, 365 days a year 24 hours a day, 365 days a year Minimum 12 hours per day, every day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day
Provision of fuel Permitted Permitted Permitted
Provision of facilities to enable electric powered vehicle transfer (i.e. on-route exchange of un-charged vehicles for charged vehicles) or the exchange of used and charged battery cells.
Parking bays may be designated with recharging facilities for use by electric powered vehicles, for which a payment may be levied
Permitted for HGVs Permitted for HGVs Permitted for HGVs
Parking and provision at the levels laid down in policy annex B of DfT Circular 01/2008 for HGVs (3,500kg or above) (including self-propelled horse boxes) Mandatory Mandatory Mandatory
Parking and provision at the levels laid down in policy annex B of DfT Circular 01/2008 for abnormal loads Mandatory Mandatory Permitted
Free parking for up to 2 hours. Subsequent payment for parking must be possible as an on-site cash transaction Mandatory Mandatory Mandatory
Provision of high security parking for which an additional charge can be levied after an initial 2 hour period Permitted Permitted Permitted
Free toilets and hand-washing facilities for all roadside facility users (at the levels laid down in DfT Circular 01/2008) with no obligation to make a purchase Mandatory Mandatory Mandatory
Shower and washing facilities for HGV drivers, including secure lockers in the shower or washing area. To be located near to HGV parking, at the levels laid down in DfT Circular 01/2008 Mandatory Mandatory Mandatory
Maximum retail floor space (net internal area for both online and junction sites). Additional areas may be used for retail storage, but there shall be no public access and sales shall not be permitted from these areas. The allowance for retail space excludes restaurant facilities preparing food and drink for consumption on the premises Permitted maximum 500 metres squared (m2) Permitted maximum 500m2 Permitted maximum 500m2
Trading on bridges connecting 2 sites across motorway Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited
Traffic information points to help the public make informed travel decisions and plan their onward journeys Permitted Permitted Permitted
Games or exercise area floor space (games, gaming machines, or exercise machines) for use by lorry drivers only. Uses that specifically generate traffic will not be permitted Permitted maximum 100m2 Permitted maximum 100m2 Permitted maximum 100m2
Facilities for waste recycling in the amenity building and picnic areas Permitted Permitted Permitted
Access to a cash-operated telephone (card phones alone will not suffice) Mandatory Mandatory Mandatory
Advertisements situated within roadside facilities that are visible from the strategic road network (including advertisements mounted internally or externally on footbridges or connecting road bridges) Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited
Sale or consumption of alcohol on the premises Prohibited Subject to licensing procedures Subject to licensing procedures
Hot substantial food, snacks and hot drinks available between 5:00am to 10:00am and 5:00pm to 10:00pm Mandatory Mandatory Mandatory
Access for up to 2 hours for those carrying out emergency repairs to broken-down vehicles Mandatory Mandatory Mandatory
Access for parties carrying out duties for and on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport Mandatory Mandatory Mandatory
Site must also comply with all applicable equality legislation Mandatory Mandatory Mandatory
Bridge or underpass connecting facilities on opposite sides of a motorway Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited
Use as an operating centre for the purposes of the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act 1995 or the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981 Prohibited Prohibited Subject to impact assessment
Hotels offering overnight accommodation for lorry drivers without generating additional new journeys, additional traffic or a net increase in vehicle mileage Permitted Permitted Permitted
All other development Prohibited Prohibited Subject to impact assessment
Published 22 June 2011