Motorway Services Online


Lymm, one of the largest truckstops

A truckstop (known in most of Europe as lorry park) is a service area aimed mostly at lorry drivers. As of 2010, they officially come in two forms: MT (motorway truckstop, a truckstop which is signposted from a motorway) and TRT (trunk road truckstop, a truckstop which is signposted from a non-motorway trunk road). Officially, there is a third tier of truckstops which aren't signposted from the strategic road network, but this site takes little interest in them simply because there are so many.

"Lorry park" should not be confused with a parking area for lorries within a standard motorway service area.


The original plan for the M1 was that it would have two service areas, one aimed at cars and one aimed at lorries. This was changed at the last moment to have two services serving both.

As the motorway network got busier, additional infill services were required. It was suggested these should primarily serve lorries, but they adapted to serve the vehicles which used them, mainly cars.

Meanwhile, there have always been separate businesses built to serve lorry drivers. Until 2008 there has been no clear rule on how private truckstops should be handled. In the 1990s two major truckstops, Lymm and Carnforth were signposted as motorway services. Since then, the M1 J29 Truckstop has been signed as a lorry park. In 2008 it was clarified that a-roads can have signs to 'lorries only services' and motorways can have black-on-white signs for truckstops.

As of 2010 online motorway truckstops are now allowed.

Facilities and Requirements

As set out in the proposed MSA policy, MTs and TRTs must be no more than three miles from the motorway and not require drivers to pass through a settlement in order to reach it. They can't cater for other vehicles or else they surrender their status as a truckstop. Other than this their facilities are very similar to MSAs and TRSAs.

Truckstops may also double-up as an operating centre, subject to an impact assessment, where HGVs can be parked up for the night and drivers return home in their regular vehicles.

Spacing and Locations

A motorway truckstop should not be more than 40 miles from the existing services, as if this isn't the case then getting a full service area open should be a bigger priority. They should not be less than 12 miles from the existing facilities.

There are few requirements for the location of truckstops on trunk roads.

Road Signs

A standard MT sign on the M6

TRTs are covered on the A-road Signs page as lorries only services.

For MTs, the signs were only introduced in 2008 as non-prescribed signs. They are similar to MSA signs but use white-on-black signs (like most signs aimed at HGV drivers) and substitute "services" for "truckstop", usually including the HGV symbol. Continuity signing should be provided using the existing available signs, and with black patches on other signs.