Over-priced Cornish pasties, ancient coin-operated arcade machines, inbred yokels on caravanning holidays … it can only be a motorway service station. Whether you think they are god-forsaken hell holes or welcome respites on a long journey, one thing’s for certain – a whole lot more are coming.

Proposals drawn up by the Department for Transport could also lead to service areas doubling in size and the creation of separate, Continental-style picnic areas, reports the Telegraph. Ministers, who are expected to decide on what action to take later in the year, want to increase the number of service stations and trunk road rest areas as a safety measure.

Service stations are normally about 30 miles apart - based on the assumption that this is equivalent to half an hour on the road. But, as the road network gets busier, it is feared that the 30-mile gap will in reality mean that they are further than half an hour apart.

Drivers are advised to take a 20-minute break every 2 hours.

In the past, moves to build new service areas have been blocked by local authorities.

To combat this, the Government has suggested giving the Highways Agency, which manages the trunk road and motorway network, a bigger say in where new service areas should be built.