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Pump prices to be displayed on the M5

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Drivers using a section of the M5, between Bristol and Exeter, will soon benefit from new signs showing the price of fuel along the motorway.

The move is part of a trial by Highways England designed to give drivers more information to help their journeys and to boost competition on fuel prices. Five motorway service areas are involved in the trial which, depending on the results, could ultimately be rolled out nationally.

Electronic message signs will show the price of fuel at Gordano, Sedgemoor, Bridgwater, Taunton Deane and Exeter motorway service areas.

Roads Minister Andrew Jones said: "The Government is on the side of the honest motorist who have raised concerns for too long about petrol prices at motorway service stations. This trial will allow drivers to be much better informed about the cost of fuel and make it easier to plan their breaks around the cheapest deals."

Mike Wilson, chief highways engineer at Highways England, said: "Providing fuel price information is an important part of a bigger picture – we want road users to be more informed and in better control of their journeys. This means they’ll be better prepared, more inclined to plan breaks and have a positive driving experience.

"It’s still very important for motorists to properly plan their journeys and ensure they have sufficient fuel. Running out of fuel on motorways can be hazardous to yourself and other drivers."

The trial will run until the end of 2017 during which time Highways England will be monitoring the effectiveness of the signs in providing useful information to road users, understanding the impact on improving fuel prices and also carefully monitoring whether there are any safety implications such as more cases of running out of fuel.

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  • David Watts - 03/11/2015 10:59

    I don't personally understand how this will make any difference to driver buying behaviour. Everyone already knows that Motorway fuel stations are significantly more expensive than local retailers and yet drivers still buy fuel from them, so surely the question is why and I don't think it's because there isn't a sign just outside the service area. Drivers have a choice - either plan your journey and make sure that you have enough fuel before you get on the motorway, or make a 'distressed' purchase and pay the premium. I'm not sure how, if you're being 'forced' in to making a distressed purchase, knowing how much the fuel is before you go in to the fuel station will make any difference - it's a distressed purchase and so you have to buy it whether you like it or not and hopefully learn for next time.

  • Chris Haynes - 03/11/2015 11:24

    This is something that has happened in mainland Europe for years, simply for information purposes. I cannot see the problem with it - there are plenty of signs that are advertising fast food etc at rest stops. How it will increase competition, I am not sure. You don't know what is down the road, unless the driver is going to get bombarded with all the prices at each service station?

  • Kev w - 03/11/2015 17:06

    It's only useful if prices are displayed for the next two service areas, then there could be some choice. But as already stated by others, motorway fuel is a rip-off anyway usually 10p a litre, so en extra £5 for most to fill up. AVOID.

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