NEW motorway services near Rugby – described as ‘the UK’s flagship electric vehicle charging Motorway Service Area’ – have opened today.
The £40million Moto services at Junction 1 of the M6 bring 120 jobs to the area and feature 24 ‘ultra-rapid’ electric vehicle charging points – making it the largest ultra-rapid charging site on the motorway. The chargers will have the capability to add up to 100 miles of range in less than five minutes.
Shops include Marks & Spencer, Greggs, Costa Coffee, KFC, Pret a Manger, Burger King, WHSmith and BP.
The service area was originally due to open in July 2020 but was delayed due to the pandemic.
Ken McMeikan, Chief Executive of Moto, said: “We are delighted to finally be opening our newest Motorway Service Area. At Moto we are committed to sustainable motoring and the part we can play in giving motorists the confidence to switch to electric vehicles over the coming years.
“Investing £40million in our new MSA at Rugby at a time when Covid-19 has massively impacted hospitality and retail businesses across the UK is testament to the confidence we have in the UK’s ability to bounce back from the coronavirus crisis which has affected all of our lives.
“We listened to our customers and have tried to create the experience they want, with indoor and outdoor play areas for children, baby changing facilities, a multi-faith prayer room, dedicated ‘Changing Places’ toilet facilities, dog walking area, and many of the best food and drink brand outlets from the UK and globally.
“HGV drivers have been among the unsung heroes of Covid-19, moving vital food, medicines, and equipment across the UK. The new Rugby site has parking spaces for 100 Heavy Goods Vehicles and we hope HGV drivers will be delighted with the new facilities provided specifically for them.”
Moto has said the HGV parking spaces will help ease the problem of lorries parking overnight in lay-bys and on local roads.
But when the scheme was given planning permission by Rugby Borough Council in 2017, Coun Bill Lewis – who voted against it – warned it would cause gridlock and ‘misery to Rugby residents’.
He said: “The roads around Rugby are already congested. Heavy trucks which are likely to use the service area will not be confined to those travelling along the M6. The Leicester Road/A426 is already congested, and that situation is likely to become an even greater problem.”
And an objection to the scheme from Warwickshire Police’s Traffic Management Advisor warned unprecedented growth in Rugby and lane closures on Leicester Road were causing congestion and putting pressure on emergency services.