To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of renewing or extending the leases at state-owned motorway service areas to leverage private sector investment in (a) electric vehicle charging infrastructure, (b) HGV parking and (c) site improvements.
Ministers are considering which approach, as the current leases begin to expire from 2030, would secure best value for the taxpayer and enhance the experience for future road users. Following initial discussions with the operators, Ministers have requested that the operators work with officials to help understand how the timelines for each option could affect the timing and opportunities for any investment in the sites.
At the March 2020 Budget, the Government announced the Rapid Charging Fund was announced as part of a £500 million commitment for EV charging infrastructure.
It will be available to fund a portion of costs at strategic sites across the strategic road network where upgrading connections to meet future demand for high powered chargepoints would be prohibitively expensive and uncommercial. Timing and process for delivery of this funding will be confirmed in due course.
The Government will be working with the operators of MSAs to ensure that charging provision is in place ahead of customer demand. The aim is to help support early adoption of electric vehicles and remove range anxiety concerns for drivers on long journeys.