A transport minister has reiterated his call for better designed motorway service stations and called on them to display more local character and source locally produced food.

Speaking at the Backing Beauty reception, hosted by the think tank ResPublica, the Woodland Trust and the National Trust, transport minister John Hayes said: “I have established a taskforce to review motorway service areas, tasking it with improving the design and landscaping of both new and existing facilities.

“In addition, it will be reviewing the scope for an expansion of local and particular provision of facilities to combat creeping corporate ubiquity.

“It is my firm belief that motorway service areas should support local independent businesses, source locally produced food and be lovely places to enjoy.

“Beauty at every turn, every stop. All of these elements are critical for ensuring that good design is at the heart of all we do.”

He added: “I am also determined that good design principles will not only apply to new projects but also to refurbishments and maintenance. How we treat what is first well designed can make unsightly what was once beautiful.”