HC Deb 12 January 1987 vol 108 c9
7. Mr. Tim Smith

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what sites are being considered for the construction of service areas on the M25.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

A service area is already in partial operation at South Mimms, and Esso has been chosen to develop another at Thurrock. Our proposal for a site at Clacket lane near Westerham has recently been the subject of a public inquiry, together with other proposals by private developers. We are still considering proposals for Iver.

Mr. Smith

Is my hon. Friend aware that it is proposed that the service area at Iver should be built on green belt land between two built-up areas in my constituency—Richings park and Iver village? Because that would be so close to hundreds of houses, there is considerable local opposition. Will my hon. Friend consider looking at a more suitable site?

Mr. Bottomley

The consultants tried to identify other more suitable sites, but I am not sure whether one was found. I shall bear my hon. Friend's considerations in mind. We understand that considerable landscaping would be undertaken to shield housing from environmental intrusions.

Mrs. Clwyd

Is there any restriction on military vehicles using service areas, especially as nuclear warheads are frequently transported on our motorways, and bearing in mind the serious accident that took place at the weekend? Is the Minister not concerned about the use of public roads for that purpose?

Mr. Bottomley

I am not sure that military convoys often use motorway service areas.

Sir John Biggs-Davison

Will my hon. Friend confirm that no service area is to be placed in Loughton or elsewhere in the Epping Forest constituency?

Mr. Bottomley

I was asked where we proposed to have motorway service areas on the M25, and my hon. Friend's area of concern is not one that I mentioned.

Mr. Madden


Mr. Speaker

The question is about the M25.

Mr. Madden

Indeed, Mr. Speaker. What provision is being made for facilities for those driving heavy goods vehicles on the M25, and what is the general policy on the provision of such facilities on the motorway network?

Mr. Bottomley

One of the reasons why we maintain strict control over motorway service areas is to ensure the availability of some services which may not otherwise be provided. We take the provision of rest facilities for heavy goods vehicle drivers seriously and ensure that they are provided in motorway service areas.