Martin And Su's April Fool
Did Martin and Su fool you with their revelation that you can now display things like birthday messages, marriage proposals and business adverts on motorway matrix signs in Essex?
Martin and Su claimed that the scheme had gone live on digital boards on the A12, M11 and M25 ahead of a wider roll out across England later in the year.
We heard that Heart presenters Martin and Su were the first people to have their names in lights on a board over the A12 near Chelmsford.
Have a listen to how the unlikely saga unfolded on Heart Breakfast:
We heard from Matt Rice from the Department for Leasing Interactive Electronic Signs who said, "Our analysis showed that the matrix boards on the M11, A12 and A130 are only utilised for important messages for around four percent of the time.
"This is a bold and innovative use of a public resource that should generate substantial revenue to be spent on road maintenance whilst ridding Essex of unsightly roadside billboards and placards from bridges and lamp posts.
"It will also provide businesses with a highly impactful way of promoting their product or service in a clutter-free environment.
"We think this initiative will be hugely popular with people looking to propose to their partners in a visible and original way."
We explained that messages of up to 54 characters in length could be booked for a minimum five-minute period and said it would also be possible to book consecutive matrix signs along a route to display more complex commercial messages. Prices start at £9.99 per message.
The first booking was apparently from Claire Slater on Canvey Island who proposed to her fiancée Richard. It's not known whether he accepted!
Did we fool you? Becky Gibson from Witham wrote on Facebook, "It's only just sunk in what day it was yesterday, can't believe I was that dim to believe the discussion on the show about displaying personal messages on the gantries above Essex roads!"
Nick Watkins from Billericay added, "They moan about people using radios, phones and sat navs whilst driving, yet want to put personal signs up on gantries taking your attention away from the road. There's a big difference between a road traffic message to a sign like this. You say about people using common sense, but common sense isn't that common any more. I can see people being distracted or pulling over/slowing down and taking pics while driving. You have to remember....most people are selfish and there's a lot of idiots driving!"
But listener Jeremy Phillips said, "Department of Leasing Interactive Electronics Signs - brilliant acronym! Happy April 1st!"
Happy April Fool's Day and congratulations if you were sharp enough not to be caught out by Martin and Su! There's always next year...
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