Extra MSA has opened it’s ‘next generation’ motorway service area (MSA) at Leeds Skelton Lake situated at M1 Junction 45, to provide ‘critical infrastructure’ during the coronavirus crisis.
The new service area is set to support necessary journeys for key workers, the distribution/logistics sector and emergency services on the Strategic Road Network.
Due to the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, the new development has opened on a phased basis and Extra MSA is reassuring visitors it is providing a ‘safe, clean, friendly environment where motorists and all road users can stop for a rest, comfort break and to refuel, as well as recharging their electric vehicles (EVS)’.
The new Texaco fuel filling station and combined Spar convenience store is now open, inclusive of Costa Coffee and other food and beverage ‘on the go’ product ranges.
There are also facilities for heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers and their vehicles, as well as parking for all other categories of vehicle and the new Ionity EV charging stations. The customer WC and washrooms within the amenity building are also open, with high standards of hygiene and operating with the appropriate precautionary measures, according to Extra.
Andrew Long, chief executive officer at Extra MSA, said: “In these unprecedented times, Extra is taking necessary measures to ensure those who need to move around the country, inclusive of the Yorkshire Region, can do so safely, whilst taking all necessary and recommended protection measures for our employees, customers and tenant brand operating partners.”
“Keeping MSAs open is fundamental to the safe use of the UK Strategic Road Network and whilst these are challenging times, the opening of Leeds Skelton Lake Services will provide additional critical infrastructure facilities as are also important for the national and regional economy.
The role of MSAs has been endorsed by transport secretary Grant Shapps, as he announced that hauliers must be able to access roadside facilities to continue transporting essential items to supermarkets and the NHS. Therefore, he asked motorway service stations to remain open (with precautions in place) to ensure vital journeys continue.
Once fully operational, the food court and amenity building will host Nando’s, Starbucks, Burger King, KFC, LEON, Pizza Express, Harry Ramsden’s, Upper Crust, Pasty Shop, Mi Casa and Chopstix, together with Urban Express and other brand outlets. It will also have a new sourced market ‘branded’ food and beverage facility, inclusive of a deli-counter and a range of naturally produced products, many sourced from the Yorkshire region.
Leeds Skelton Lake service area will also provide a business centre and a 100-bedroom Ramada Hotel.
Extra says it will be arranging for the opening of the full range of ‘brand’ outlets in the food court and amenity building as soon as possible.
Long said: “With Leeds Skelton Lake, Extra is also keen to be looking into the future, in terms of what users will require for both themselves and their vehicles. In addition to providing more than 300 full time equivalent new jobs, the process for the evolution of this new development has involved Extra working closely with many locally based stakeholders, including Leeds City Council, Leeds City Region LEP, Highways England, Leeds University and Colleges, together with the Ahead Partnership.”
Dr Marcus Groll, chief operating officer at Ionity, said: “Leeds Skelton Lake Services is an exemplary facility, showcasing where the future of Strategic Road Network transport is to be heading. Our high-power 350kW charging stations features the latest technology and drivers travelling through or past Leeds can rapidly recharge their vehicles with 100% renewable energy.
“Our installation in Leeds represents a significant expansion across the UK throughout 2020 and we are delighted to be working closely with Extra MSA Group and look forward to opening further stations across motorway services operated by the Extra MSA Group. A high-power charging network like ours that serves customers on both motorways and major trunk roads is critical in making the transition to EV ownership possible.”
The motorway service area will also house a ‘living green roof’ and the food court and amenity building also incorporates a wildlife visitor centre, to be operated by the RSPB.