Major UK motorway set for new £30m service station but locals say ‘not another one’

Royal Wootton Bassett residents have expressed concern over the proposed opening of a new £30million motorway service station in their area. Pushback primarily revolves around the potential worsening of existing traffic issues in the rural Wiltshire town.

The Moto Hospitality initiative aims to establish the services near an M4 junction south of Swindon. Although it is said to generate 150 jobs and operate round the clock, local people are up in arms.

Chris Bailey, a resident, did not back the move, saying: “It’s a junction that is already super busy as it is and I can’t help but feel that a service station is just going to bring problems.” 

He added that it could put strain on the community, citing concerns such as water shortages exacerbated by the station’s presumed heavy water usage.

Debby Hughes-Morris also attacked the plans, saying: “It’s in between two services already and we don’t need it and we don’t need the traffic. 

“We’ve had enough time with them building the roundabout and we really don’t need it. There is a benefit to the jobs but it isn’t a groundbreaking number of jobs.” 

Local lorry driver Robert Humphries said: “Why on earth do we need three that close together, it just doesn’t seem any point, there’s stretches of motorways with long distances between services, but that isn’t a long distance.

“It’s a waste of money and time, and I don’t think it’s better for the community.”

In contrast, South Swindon MP Sir Robert Buckland welcomed the proposal, he said: “This is news that I welcome, as I have been previously contacted by several local residents who have raised issues with HGVs around Blagrove and the area being used as a toilet.

“This is very unpleasant, and a new Motorway Rest Area would provide a much-needed stopping and toilet point – as well, of course, as new jobs to the town.”

A spokesperson for Moto Hospitality – the UK’s largest motorway services operator – told The Swindon Advertiser: “Our plans have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the local community with the project bringing in a wave of new job opportunities, much needed EV infrastructure and addressing the lack of HGV parking spots, which we know is an ongoing concern to both drivers and local residents in the area. 

“We’ve actively encouraged local stakeholders to engage with us throughout the consultation process. The response has been incredibly encouraging and has driven our design process.

“We’re proud to have reflected their key priorities in our planning application, such as the use of solar panels as a source of sustainable energy, and a living green roof within our final plans.”

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