Solihull Motorway Service Area

The need for a new MSA

Why do we need Motorway Service Areas?

Most people will have stopped at a Motorway Service Area at some point in time and may use such facilities on a regular basis. Motorway Service Areas (MSAs) are important as they provide the opportunity for drivers (and their passengers) to take a break on long journeys. The ability for drivers to stop on a regular basis is important in terms of road safety, as driver fatigue is a recognised major cause of Motorway Accidents.

Drivers of many commercial and public service vehicles are subject to a regime of statutory breaks and other working time restrictions and MSAs assist in compliance with such requirements.

Government policy

The primary function of roadside facilities for motorists should be to support the safety and welfare of the road user.” (NPPF,2019, Footnote 42).

Government policy (DfT Circular 02/2013) seeks to ensure that drivers have the opportunity to stop and take a break at intervals of no more than 30 minutes travelling time (typically 28 miles or less). If a gap of more than 30 mins travelling time exists between MSAs, then the ‘need’ for a new MSA is established.

Existing distances between MSAs on this part of the Motorway Network considerably exceed the maximum gap on both travelling time and distance.

From To Distance
Warwick Services (M40) Telford Services (M54) via M42/M6 63 miles
Warwick Services (M40) Hilton Park (M6) via M42/M6 49 miles
Warwick Services (M40) Norton Canes (M6 Toll) via M42/M6 Toll 47 miles
Warwick Services (M40) Tamworth Services (M42) 37 miles
Warwick Services (M40) Corley Services (M6) via M42/M6 36 miles

Table 1. Gaps in excess of 28 miles (30 minutes maximum travelling distance) between MSAs on the Midlands Motorway Network to/from Warwick (M40) via M42/M6/M6 Toll

Two further gaps in excess of 28 miles exist between Hopwood Park Services and existing MSAs at Hilton Park and Norton Canes (for traffic travelling to/ from these north along the M42). On most occasions traffic travelling between Hopwood Park MSA and Hilton Park MSA would use the M42/M5/M6. However at certain times this route can be blocked or experiencing significant delays which affects route choice with the result that that traffic may divert via the M42 and M6/M6Toll.