What are you planning to do?
Moto are proposing to build a new Motorway Service Area (MSA) on the A1(M) near Sawtry on the site off Toll Bar Way at Junction 15. The building housing the existing commercial business and the disused hotel would be demolished and the entire transformed. The MSA would serve northbound vehicles only and NOT be advertised to southbound vehicles.
What retail units will be included in the service area?
The amenity building will include an M&S Simply Food, Costa Coffee, Greggs, Burger King and WH Smith. There will be a separate fuel filling station and charging points for electric vehicles.
Why do we need a service area here?
Motorway Service Areas are an important part of the national motorway network and exist to ensure the safety and welfare of users of the network. This section of the A1(M) caries some 40,000 vehicles a day. Driver fatigue accounts for 20% of accidents on motorways so Government policy seeks to ensure that there are MSAs at regular intervals. Drivers of many commercial and public service vehicles need to take statutory breaks and have other working time restrictions, so MSAs also assist meeting these requirements.
How many new jobs will be created by the MSA?
The new service area will involve a £20 million investment in the local economy and would create 121 permanent jobs for local people. The jobs would range from part time shift roles ideal for those who need to fit work around their studies and caring responsibilities as well as more senior management roles which offer excellent internal succession within the Moto company.
What will a new MSA mean for traffic?
MSAs do not generate significant additional traffic as they are used by drivers on journeys already taking place. This MSA will serve just the northbound traffic from junction 15 via Toll Bar Road. The service areas will not be advertised to southbound traffic. There will be additional traffic movements at the junction roundabout but MSA peak periods (lunchtimes, weekends and bank holidays) are different from typical commuter peaks in the weekday morning and evening periods.
How will you stop heavy construction traffic driving through Sawtry?
Construction traffic movements will be governed by a Construction Traffic Management policy to minimise disruption and impact on local residents.
What will the MSA look like?
The MSA will feature an attractively designed amenity building and a fuel filling station in a new landscaped environment. The amenity building will be at the northern end of the site and screened by existing vegetation from the wider landscape. Parking areas will be screened by existing vegetation reinforced with new planting, and ornamental trees and hedges will be planted on internal roads.
Will the MSA include electric charging points?
Yes. The Government has a target that all passenger vehicle sales in the UK should be of zero emission vehicles by 2050. The accessibility and convenience of vehicle charging is often raised as a constraint to the purchase of these vehicles. To help meet the Government’s target, Highways England is committed to ensuring a comprehensive national network of plug in EV charge points every twenty miles is established over the next 20 years on the motorway network and MSAs play a role in this.
What consultation have Moto done on this proposal?
Moto are consulting residents, elected representatives and other stakeholders through meetings and a consultation event which was advertised through local press coverage, and a newsletter delivered to homes and businesses in Sawtry. There is a dedicated consultation website, freephone number and freepost address.
Who decides whether this proposal goes ahead?
Moto has considered all feedback and suggestions received during the consultation and used them to help shape the proposals. A planning application has now been submitted to Huntingdonshire District Council and their planning committee will decide whether the proposal should be approved.
If the application is successful, how long will construction take?
Based on Moto’s experience elsewhere, construction is likely to last 12 – 18 months.