Wiltshire Council’s Highways Department says plans for a new motorway service station near Swindon are “insufficient” for approval.

In October last year, Moto Hospitality, the UK’s largest motorway service area operator, applied for planning permission to build a new motorway rest area to the south of junction 16 of the M4.

If approved, the scheme would create a £30 million site equipped with 62 new HGV spaces, 241 car parking spaces, a petrol station, and associated food and drink facilities.

But Wiltshire Council’s Highways Department has raised concerns over several aspects of the proposal.

They told developers the plans provide “insufficient information” from which to make an overall recommendation.

After reviewing the plans, the department responded that more information was required on contentious issues, including access proposals, impact on infrastructure, pedestrian and cyclist accessibility, and layout.

Swindon Advertiser: Plans for the new M4 services near SwindonPlans for the new M4 services near Swindon (Image: Moto)

Some of these comments mirror residents’ fears of increased traffic congestion around junction 16.

Chris Mead, who responded on behalf of the Highways Department, said: “The access proposal creates queues and delays on the B4005 which do not currently occur at this location.

“This could have an impact on the capacity for the signals on junction 16 if traffic does not arrive in the pre-determined pattern.”

He added the condition of the B4005 needs to be understood due to the “level of deterioration” that additional HGV traffic would cause.

Mr Mead said: “There are concerns about the burden of additional HGV traffic on the road infrastructure.”

Residents have been split over the idea of a new motorway service station near Swindon.

Swindon Advertiser: Plans for the new M4 services near SwindonPlans for the new M4 services near Swindon (Image: Moto Hospitality Limited)

While some have backed the scheme, others have raised concerns over its potential impact on traffic and nearby businesses.

But Moto insists the large investment in the area would bring “compelling benefits”, including the creation of at least 150 full-time jobs.

The developers say the scheme would address the “critical shortfall” of HGV parking spaces, increasing road safety and easing traffic disruption.

A spokesperson for Moto said: “The development pledges to enhance road safety by offering motorists a haven to rest, refresh, and refuel, thereby reducing the risks associated with fatigued driving.

“This innovative proposal will help to address the critical shortage of HGV parking spaces in the vicinity.

“Existing sites, such as the Swindon Truck Stop and Chippenham Pit Stop, are nearing full capacity, leading to HGVs parking in unsuitable locations, such as lay-bys and industrial estates.

“The scarcity of secure HGV spaces not only disrupts traffic flow but contributes to the industry's workforce retention challenges.”