Alan Nicholas from Signpost Solutions has retired after more than 30 years service in the highways industry.
Alan started his career in the sector with the David Webster Group, at that time the UK’s largest private street lighting contractor. Between 1983 and 1994 he had a number of roles, starting as business development manager for DW Lighting in the Midlands area primarily at their Oldbury operation. He was also involved in sales and product development at DW Windsor and Truesigns.
In 1994 he moved to Pathfinder Franco, (now Signature) where he helped develop a completely new range of illuminated traffic products, many of which are still being used to this day. Signature also gave him his first opportunity to show off his marketing and advertising skills.
His next move came six years late when he moved to Signfix as sales and marketing manager. Signfix at the time were and still are leaders in the manufacture of traffic sign posts and fixings, but Alan noticed another product that they had in their range called Lattix and realised its huge potential following a visit to Oslo where it was being manufactured. During the following two years Alan lobbied the Highways Agency and Department for Transport (DfT) for the new phenomenon of passive safety to be used on UK roads. Fifteen years later passive safety is now a natural consideration on all new high speed road schemes and his efforts in developing passive safety, in sign posts and also street lighting have had a significant contribution in reducing accident severity and even saving lives.
As part of a management buyout in 2003 Alan became a part owner of Signpost Solutions (Signfix) a role he revelled in along with co-director Peter Moore. The pair’s exit strategy saw SignPost Solutions acquired by the APT group in 2008 and subsequently by Swarco 2014.