A public consultation document about possible improvements to the M11 motorway in Essex and Cambridgeshire over the next decade includes the prospect of another service area on the northern section of the 52-mile route.

The Highways Agency route manager, Stephen Davy, says he also wants the public’s views on such issues as congestion, safety, junction design and environmental impact in the light of the government’s plans to earmark some parts of the M11 corridor for major economic development.

When the first Essex stretch of the M11, from Woodford to Birchanger, opened in the mid-1970s, there was no provision for services along its 23 miles. Subsequent extension for 29 miles northwards to bypass Cambridge and link with the A14 brought no change to that situation for another decade.

For about the past 15 years, however, Birchanger Green Services, just south of the midway-point of the M11, has provided a large Shell forecourt plus Welcome Break facilities and lodge accommodation. As traffic volumes have grown – up to 100,000 vehicles daily in some sections – this service area, has often been running at full stretch.

The Highways Agency consultation paper makes no specific suggestion about the location of further services. It is, however, likely that the site will be near Cambridge, somewhere on the section from Stump Cross to Girton.