For quite some time, the motorway company has spent considerable man hours and financial resources on upgrading individual service stations as service stations are a direct and important calling card for the services provided by the motorway franchisees. Over the years, the service stations have shown a constant increase in the number of visitors, whose needs with regard to quality, quantity and variety of goods and services required is becoming ever more unusual and differentiated. For this reason, the adjustment of the infrastructure and services to meet these additional demands is given high priority.
At the end of 2006, once the 30-year licences had expired, a direct administration of the outdoor installations and sanitary facilities at the service stations was decided upon, and the motorway company instigated immediate actions, such as the modernisation of sanitary facilities where most necessary, the reassessment of green areas, and the repair of the asphalt and road markings as well as the entry and exit slips. In the future, the company will be working on ambitious projects for the expansion, restructuring and reassessment of its service stations. In this context, this includes inter alia the separation of traffic routes according to the type of user, the enlargement of car parking areas, the installation of Internet points, the construction of specific areas such as those for mobile caravans, and the construction of green spaces.
The principles according to which the company is planning this restructuring and reassessment of its service stations are influenced by an approach which takes into consideration not only the technical, functional and commercial requirements, but also the characteristics of the region. Even during construction, the fitness for purpose of the new motorway routes and the aesthetic value with regard to the region it traversed were influential factors in the ambitious infrastructure project.
Recently, the wishes of the areas traversed by the Brenner motorway were carefully assessed which prompted the company to promote projects such as the new Paganella East service station where two pyramid-like structures were built from local materials in order to mimic the typical local mountainous landscape and culture of this northern stretch of the A22.
In its efforts to follow an environmentally friendly policy and to use energy sources in a rational manner, the company has introduced a rubbish separation scheme at its service stations and is devising a development plan for the supply of natural and liquefied gas. The company is already looking towards the future by promoting pilot projects for the generation and distribution of hydrogen for vehicles along its particular motorway section. The often unrecognisable form and type, and unavailable additional services at many Italian and European service stations have contributed to the fact that motorways and their associated areas are classified as the “non-places” of modernity (Marc Augé). In its attempts to give its service stations a new appearance and value, the company is aiming to create “places” which have a close relationship with their surrounding areas, where every traveller is able to find everything necessary to experience a comfortable and fruitful stay.