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X marks the spot

WE will all by now be used to the Smart Motorways up and down the country and locally on the M1. The roadworks from J16 to J19 on the M1 seemed to take a lifetime to finish, but now they are, the experience of using the motorway is transformed. The team of guys responsible have now moved onto J16 to J14 and whilst it will take a long time to complete (March 2022), it will be worth the wait. The boys drink in my local and that's what they tell me anyway! 

But, one of the features of the Smart Motorway is that there is no hard shoulder, there are only refuges at intervals along the side of the road to cater for breakdowns. If there is an incident or breakdown on the highway then the affected lane is closed and the overhead gantry marks this closure with a red X. 

"So what? I knew this!" you say. But on 13 May the Road Traffic Offenders (Prescribed Devices) Order was passed and from now on drivers ignoring the lane closure signal will be handed a Fixed Penalty Notice of £100 fine and three penalty points. The offence will be enforced by the overhead cameras, whereas previously it was only enforced by physical police motorway patrols. Previously, drivers ignoring the signal were sent a warning letter by Highways England, in the last two years over 180,000 times!! 

So apart from not hitting a stationary car, there are now 100 more reasons to comply with the road signal. 

This column is predominantly concerned with keeping Business Times readers informed about current matters in the fleet world than may have passed you by in our busy world. We try not to advertise the Alpha Contracts services (apart from my final paragraph). However, we are all keen to share a new Total Care product we have available, which is a Complete Vehicle Solution, bringing the car finance, the vehicle maintenance and Road Risk Insurance together under one roof in a single payment. 

We think this is an exciting development and it has potential for both business customers and retail customers who want a simpler way to budget for these expenses. The cost is influenced by the post code of the customer and not by the choice of vehicle. So if you are over 21, have fewer than six points on your licence (stay out of those X lanes!) and have had two or fewer at-fault accidents in the last two years, then why not give us a call to see if we can save you some money? We think the product has excellent potential for SMEs looking to reduce their motor insurance costs. 

The team can be reached on 01604 756620 to talk through any questions you may have or email for a copy of the marketing information. 

Safe motoring!

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1st of June 2019