Supporting Public Safety
and Welfare of Motorway Users

MSAs are an essential part of the National Motorway Network infrastructure and exist to support the safety and welfare of users of the Network.

Public safety is a primary responsibility of government at all levels. Government Policy relating to MSAs is set out in Circular 02/2013.

For safety and welfare reasons the maximum distance that drivers should have to travel between MSAs is 28 miles or 30 minutes driving time. Government advice is that drivers should stop and take a break of at least 15 mins every two hours.

The Highway Code 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 and so 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.