Ireland’s first official Motorway Service Area officially opened yesterday, Wednesday 15th September, at Lusk on the M1 Motorway in Co. Dublin.
The Motorway Service Areas will be run and managed by Applegreen on behalf of the SuperStop Consortium (made up of Applegreen, Pierse Contracting and TOP), as part of a tender process that saw the 100% Irish consortium win the PPP Contract from the National Roads Authority to provide these state of the art Motorway Service Areas.
The opening ceremony included a blessing ceremony and was attended by 250 people including the Chairman of the National Roads Authority, Peter Malone, the Minister for Justice, Dermot Ahern, TD, and the Board of Directors of the SuperStop Consortium.
The Lusk Motorway Service Area will see the opening of two sites, one on either side of the M1 Motorway. The sites will provide facilities on a par with those seen in continental Europe, with specific services for both hauliers and private motorists. These facilities include parking for 246 vehicles including designated spaces for 184 cars, 13 motorbikes, 10 coaches and 39 HGVs
The MSAs are also more family friendly than anything else seen to date, with everything from bottle heating facilities & changing rooms to indoor and outdoor playgrounds. These facilities include;
1. Public Toilets – 10 female toilets, 10 male toilets, 2 female/ 2 male showers, 2 baby changing rooms, 2 disabled toilets
2. Playgrounds – indoor and outdoor
3. Food – Burger King, Costa Coffee and an aCafé. There is indoor seating for 250 diners with an additional 30 outdoor seats to enjoy during the better weather.
The overall project, comprising the three locations of Lusk, Castlebellingham and Enfield represents an investment of more than € 70 million on behalf of the consortium,
Commenting on the opening of the new Motorway Service Areas, Joe Barrett, Operations Director, Applegreen and Director of SuperStop, said; “Nothing on this scale has been built before to facilitate the Irish motorist and I am delighted that Applegreen as part of the SuperStop consortium will have such a prominent role in operating the sites and providing state of the art facilities to the Irish Motoring public. As a 100%, Irish Consortium, we are committed to the Irish economy and I am personally delighted that we have been able to create over 300 new jobs as part of the investment.”
Also commenting on the opening of the new Motorway Service Areas, Peter Malone, Chairman of the National Roads Authority said: “SuperStop has done an excellent job in fulfilling our expectations. The quality and variety of services should satisfy all road users.
We are also very pleased that information on the local and regional tourism offerings are being made available to all visitors, it will have a positive impact on local businesses. Additionally, the NRA is very pleased the new service areas are being delivered on schedule.”
In addition to providing a valuable service to private Irish motorists, the new Motorway Service Areas represent a major development to Irish business, providing hauliers and transport fleet managers with a fuel card system, which will accept all major fuel cards. SuperStop consortium member, TOP, will operate these Fuel Card Truck Stops.
Commenting on the new Fuel Card Truck Stops, Group Chief Executive of TOP Oil, Gerard Boylan said: “The Motorway Service Areas are the most modern in Europe offering high-speed refueling, free parking plus comprehensive food and recreational areas, all with easy access on and off the motorways. This is a significant upgrading of what is currently available to truckers and motorists. We believe it will be of particular importance to the haulage industry to have these top class facilities as we recognise the importance of the industry to business in Ireland. We also believe that it is good for the wider economy; it will create extra jobs, is a fully Irish owned and Irish funded consortium.”
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