Posted on Thursday, March 16 @ 07:42:25 EST by nukeadmin
Government plans for motorway picnic areas
Could UK stopover sites soon be a reality?
England and Wales are one step closer to a network of driver rest areas thanks to a bill currently progressing through Parliament.
The proposal - just one part of the Road Safety Bill 2005, which was introduced to the House of Lords on 24 May - proposes the provision of 'picnic areas' on major roads to cut down on driver fatigue.
If the bill becomes law, the Treasury will provide up to £3m for setting up a pilot scheme to test the effectiveness of the proposal.
The explanatory notes published by the Department of Transport suggest modelling the network of picnic areas on the French 'aire' system.
The rest areas will be sited in spots directly accessible from motorways. The pilot area, planned for a motorway in the South West, will include car parking, a landscaped area with picnic tables as well as toilets and CCTV.
Details of how the site can be used will not be decided until the proposal has become law, but Motor Caravan Magazine understands that overnight stays may be considered as an option there.
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If the pilot rest area is a success then the scheme could be extended across the motorway network throughout England and Wales.
To have your say on the bill, write to Alistair Darling, Secretary of State for Transport at Great Minster House, 76 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DR or email Alistair Darling You can also contact David Pullen with queries and comments on the bill.