Roadchef_3D Walkthrough_Watford Gap

Motorway service station operator Roadchef has announced plans to turn Watford Gap into the most sustainable service station - ‘The Service Station of the Future’ - with the help of students from University of Bristol.

The company has developed what it believes is ’the holy grail of service stations’ at the iconic Watford Gap. Plans include futuristic concepts from children’s play parks and turnstile turbines to generate energy for the site to wireless car charging, wellness centres and outdoor green areas to give back to nature.

Roadchef says it is committed to ensuring its business operates in a sustainable way, minimising environmental impact and initiating new and advanced ways of supporting this. Researched carried out by the business found that 56% of drivers would choose to stop at a service station that was doing more than others in terms of sustainability initiatives, which triggered the collaboration with the university.

Working with University of Bristol’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Roadchef tasked students as part of their Design Futures module to come up with concepts for what they think the service station of the future could look like. Ideas needed to align with the business becoming net zero, but still offering what motorists need and a pleasurable experience. Combining some of the most pioneering ideas, the business has created a 3D walkthrough to transform Watford Gap and make it what could be the most sustainable service station of the future.

Dr Daniella Jenkins, senior lecturer in Design Thinking and Innovation at University of Bristol, said: “Leading this project has been eye-opening to see what tomorrow’s innovators think the service station of the future could look like. While some concepts might not seem achievable in the next 50 years, there are plenty of ideas that we can learn from now, including some that could be implemented in the near future. While this module just looked at how service stations could improve sustainability, some of the suggestions the students have brought to the fore could be something other businesses should contemplate too.”

Sajid Yacoob, EV and renewables director, Roadchef, said: “We have continued to be astonished by the incredible level of engagement, imagination and sustainable thinking that has been shown by students for this project. The inspiring concepts have given us some serious food for thought to reimagine what our service stations can look like in the near and distant future. We look forward to seeing how we can work these solutions into our current sites with the potential to replicate the service station of the future in years to come.”

Roadchef_3D Walkthrough_EV charging