Supporting Public Safety
and Welfare of Motorway Users

Motorway Service Areas play a key role in ensuring the safety and welfare of drivers and their passengers.

Government policy on MSAs is set out in Circular Guidance 02/2013 ‘The Strategic Road Network and the Delivery of Sustainable Development’. This guidance advises that motorists should stop and take a break of at least 15 minutes every two hours. Commercial and public service drivers are also required to take statutory breaks and are subject to working time limits.

The Highway Code also notes that “Driving when you are tired greatly increases your risk of collision”.

Driver fatigue accounts for 20% of accidents on Motorways and monotonous roads (RoSPA). Fatigue related accidents are to a large extent avoidable, so long as appropriate facilities exist for drivers to take a break. However, human behaviour is such that drivers will rarely divert off the Motorway to take a rest. Therefore, a network of appropriately spaced MSAs is seen as a key part of the Motorway Infrastructure.

Accidents on the Motorway Network and elsewhere have both social and economic costs.