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GUIDELINES ON MOTORWAY SERVICE PLANNING 'NOT WRITTEN IN STONE'

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Government guidelines on acceptable distances between motorway service areas were not written in stone and should b...
Government guidelines on acceptable distances between motorway service areas were not written in stone and should be looked at 'with a considerable degree of elasticity', said ajudge today.

In a 'money and competition' struggle over a proposed new service area on the M6 in Staffordshire, Forte Welcome Break Limited emerged with a bloody nose from London's High Court today. Mr Justice MacPherson said Forte Welcome Break was trying to stop Stafford BC considering a planning application for a new M6 service area in rivaly with their own.

Forte Welcome Break objected to a planning application, claiming there was no need for a new service area in the light of existing services nine miles to the north and 20 miles to the south.

Current Government guidelines required a minimum 15 mile gap between service areas, the company claimed. But the judge said the company had failed to raise even 'a ghost of an argument' that the Secretary of State for Transport acted irrationally when he put in no objection to the rival scheme.

Forte Welcome Break claimed that decision flew in the face of Government policy relating to the 'spacing' between motorway service areas. The company had its application for Judicial Review dismissed and was ordered to pay legal costs.
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