Switch the speed-limits on roads to metric ASAP. Delaying is starting to cost money…

It's well overdue that an "officially metric" country such as ours should demonstrate that offical line by changing the existing out-of-date road signs to metric. Most British drivers have been 100% educated in metric, and everyone's used to sports events using metric measurements for everything.

It is possibly not obvious that delaying any further on the speed-limits issue is actually a direct problem. However, is *is* a problem and here's why:

Councils all across the country are installing more and more radar-operated speed-warning signs as a technique for encouraging motorists to slow down where appropriate. ( I have no problem with that, it's a far better method than making criminals of perfectly good people who just happen to be looking out of the windscreen at the road rather than fixating on what their speedo says! )

However – these radar-triggered signs are in many cases physically built with arrays of LEDs that form the shape of a red roundel with "30" or "20" written inside just like the fixed speed-linit signs. And therein lies the problem.

When the inevitable switch to metric road signs does happen, those signs are going to need to be rebuilt. It's likely not to be the sort of thing that can be done by a council road gang at the side of the road. The signs will probably need to be de-mounted, taken back to the depot, changed, and then re-fitted. The "changed" bit might even require the sign to be sent back to the manufacturer.

This is going to cost MONEY. The longer we leave the switchover to km/h the worse it will get.

So the claim of this thread is – please repeal the out-of-date requirements of the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions that are forcing the use of miles and miles-per-hour on our signs, and join the rest of the world using km and km/h.

The UK does have a land border with another country (Eire) that already uses km/h on its signs. You get to drive faster on de-limited Irish roads too because 120km/h is faster than 70mph.

Why is this idea important?

It's well overdue that an "officially metric" country such as ours should demonstrate that offical line by changing the existing out-of-date road signs to metric. Most British drivers have been 100% educated in metric, and everyone's used to sports events using metric measurements for everything.

It is possibly not obvious that delaying any further on the speed-limits issue is actually a direct problem. However, is *is* a problem and here's why:

Councils all across the country are installing more and more radar-operated speed-warning signs as a technique for encouraging motorists to slow down where appropriate. ( I have no problem with that, it's a far better method than making criminals of perfectly good people who just happen to be looking out of the windscreen at the road rather than fixating on what their speedo says! )

However – these radar-triggered signs are in many cases physically built with arrays of LEDs that form the shape of a red roundel with "30" or "20" written inside just like the fixed speed-linit signs. And therein lies the problem.

When the inevitable switch to metric road signs does happen, those signs are going to need to be rebuilt. It's likely not to be the sort of thing that can be done by a council road gang at the side of the road. The signs will probably need to be de-mounted, taken back to the depot, changed, and then re-fitted. The "changed" bit might even require the sign to be sent back to the manufacturer.

This is going to cost MONEY. The longer we leave the switchover to km/h the worse it will get.

So the claim of this thread is – please repeal the out-of-date requirements of the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions that are forcing the use of miles and miles-per-hour on our signs, and join the rest of the world using km and km/h.

The UK does have a land border with another country (Eire) that already uses km/h on its signs. You get to drive faster on de-limited Irish roads too because 120km/h is faster than 70mph.

Revoke the anomaly that cow’s milk can be sold in weird units.

Alone amongst all the liquids on sale in our supermarkets, cow's milk is unique in that it can be sold in multiples of 568ml rather than the more sensible 500ml used for everything else. In practice, cow's milk is often sold in *both* multiples (and on the same shelves too) and the result is a serious confusion for us, the customers.

Why is this permitted to happen? You don't find goat's milk or orange juice for sale in 568ml cartons – what was so magical about milk that made it an exception?

It's silly. Needs revoking.

Why is this idea important?

Alone amongst all the liquids on sale in our supermarkets, cow's milk is unique in that it can be sold in multiples of 568ml rather than the more sensible 500ml used for everything else. In practice, cow's milk is often sold in *both* multiples (and on the same shelves too) and the result is a serious confusion for us, the customers.

Why is this permitted to happen? You don't find goat's milk or orange juice for sale in 568ml cartons – what was so magical about milk that made it an exception?

It's silly. Needs revoking.

Revoke the Weights and Measures (Metrication Amendments) Regulations 2009 where they extend “Supplementary Indications” indefinately.

The weights and measures acts of 1985 and 2001 placed a limit (now expired) of December 31st 2009 for the country to discontinue the practice of dual-labelling items in imperial units alongside the metric units. This was already a limit that had been moved several times, and it is high time the limit actually be enacted and enforced and that we finally see the last of the old-fashioned imperial measures in our shops.

Unfortunately, our previous government saw fit, not only to revoke these provisions, but to declare that supplementary indications may continue indefinately!

It is the 21st century – in fact we're 10% of the way through the 21st century! This country declared that it was in our interest to switch to metric measures to the benefit of our science, engineering and trade back in —- 1896!

We should revoke those spineless clauses in the 2009 regulations nos. 3045 and 3046 to reinstate a cut-off point for supplementary indications, and make it as soon as possible since until that capitulation by Nu Labour, we would by now already be rid of them. So maybe please reset the cut-off to December 31st 2011 and this time STICK BY IT!

Why is this idea important?

The weights and measures acts of 1985 and 2001 placed a limit (now expired) of December 31st 2009 for the country to discontinue the practice of dual-labelling items in imperial units alongside the metric units. This was already a limit that had been moved several times, and it is high time the limit actually be enacted and enforced and that we finally see the last of the old-fashioned imperial measures in our shops.

Unfortunately, our previous government saw fit, not only to revoke these provisions, but to declare that supplementary indications may continue indefinately!

It is the 21st century – in fact we're 10% of the way through the 21st century! This country declared that it was in our interest to switch to metric measures to the benefit of our science, engineering and trade back in —- 1896!

We should revoke those spineless clauses in the 2009 regulations nos. 3045 and 3046 to reinstate a cut-off point for supplementary indications, and make it as soon as possible since until that capitulation by Nu Labour, we would by now already be rid of them. So maybe please reset the cut-off to December 31st 2011 and this time STICK BY IT!

Metric & Imperial : Market led solutions

The EU recently gave the UK derogation from regulations banning the use of dual metric – imperial pricing of goods.  The proposal herein is to create market led permanent solutions to the UK’s prolonged changeover from imperial to metric. Market led solutions and consumer choice are strongly supported by both parties to the coalition government.

 

General principles

The primary system is SI/Metric. 

The secondary system is Imperial.

No changes to regulations regarding packaged goods.

Dual scale measuring devices and pricing to show both scales or prices with equal clarity, metric scale or price must be above (horizontal), left of (vertical) or outside (arc) of imperial. Metric scale or price fonts may be larger than imperial but not smaller.

All changes are voluntary, there is no compulsion.  The remaining commercial imperial measures will survive on their own merit, not by diktat of government or the EU.  In every area described the end user (retailer or customer) can choose whether or not to continue using imperial units or voluntarily change to metric.  Because the changes are voluntary there are minimal costs associated with all the suggestions.  By creating a fully metric system with imperial options there will be no future conflict with EU directives as recently happened with motorcycle tests (at substantial cost to the taxpayer).

 

Loose and bulk retail purchases

Permanent statutory right for retailers to use approved dual scale metric/imperial measuring devices for loose and bulk products.  For example meat, fruit, vegetables, road fuel.

Electronic devices may permit a change from metric to imperial display upon request of a customer.  Compulsory automatic reversion to metric measurement and pricing to occur after an imperial transaction is completed.  This facility would be offered at the discretion of a trader and would not be a statutory right.

 All dual scale devices must be capable of being verified by inspectors using metric checking devices.

 

Existing imperial preferences

 

Milk

Optionally may be sold in pint or two pint units (as well as .5 or 1 litre) only when in a container that can be returned to the vendor (or a scheme member).  Statutory requirements:

1. Doorstep delivery vendors must offer a doorstep collection for returned  empty reusable containers.

2. Shops selling milk in reusable  containers must place a collection point for empties within 10 metres of each entrance (inside or outside). 

3. All other milk containers to contain approved metric quantities.

 

Beer & Cider on draught

Option for publicans to sell these in either approved metric or imperial measures.  Only one system is to be allowed for each licensed premise.  Trade representatives will design a suitable logo that can be prominently displayed in every licensed premise to indicate which system is in use.  Suggested metric measures are 33.3cl and 50cl.  Expectations would be for a very low take up by public houses, but restaurants may find metric measures useful.

 

Roads

National speed limits to be changed to nearest metric equivalents but imperial signage will be retained until market indications show the majority of drivers are using metric in vehicle displays. The market indicator for changing speed limit signs will be met when a majority of vehicles presented for their first MOT test use metric displays

New limits will be 35, 50, 65, 80, 100 and 120 km/h.  Note only one of these shares the same numerical value as the existing mph limits and all are marginally higher than the mph limits they replace.  For example speed limit signs:

20  speed limit 35 km/h

30  speed limit 50 km/h

40  speed limit 65 km/h

Drivers will have the statutory right to select either a metric or imperial in-vehicle display and consequently use either the lower signed mph limits or the higher statutory km/h limits.  Switchable readouts are already a standard feature of vehicles with digital displays.  All speed safety checks and permitted margins of error will change to reflect the new km/h limits.

All new/replacement road signs (except those relating to speed) will display metric data; but dual display of imperial units will remain an option to be used at the discretion of the highway authority.  Existing signs need only be replaced at the end of their life or when changes are made to the road where they are sited. The indicators “mi” or “mile/s” will be used for all new signs that show distances in statute miles.  New/replacement long distance signs will carry dual km/mile figures until the market (MOT first test returns) shows a majority of drivers using their metric display.

Manufacturers of motor vehicles will be required to fit dual displays until the market (MOT first test returns) shows a majority of drivers using their metric display.  Thereafter metric only displays may be fitted by manufacturers, but dual displays will still be permitted either as standard or as a customer option.

Speed displays will follow the principles outlined under general principles except MPH will remain outside of km/h for analogue dial displays.

Why is this idea important?

The EU recently gave the UK derogation from regulations banning the use of dual metric – imperial pricing of goods.  The proposal herein is to create market led permanent solutions to the UK’s prolonged changeover from imperial to metric. Market led solutions and consumer choice are strongly supported by both parties to the coalition government.

 

General principles

The primary system is SI/Metric. 

The secondary system is Imperial.

No changes to regulations regarding packaged goods.

Dual scale measuring devices and pricing to show both scales or prices with equal clarity, metric scale or price must be above (horizontal), left of (vertical) or outside (arc) of imperial. Metric scale or price fonts may be larger than imperial but not smaller.

All changes are voluntary, there is no compulsion.  The remaining commercial imperial measures will survive on their own merit, not by diktat of government or the EU.  In every area described the end user (retailer or customer) can choose whether or not to continue using imperial units or voluntarily change to metric.  Because the changes are voluntary there are minimal costs associated with all the suggestions.  By creating a fully metric system with imperial options there will be no future conflict with EU directives as recently happened with motorcycle tests (at substantial cost to the taxpayer).

 

Loose and bulk retail purchases

Permanent statutory right for retailers to use approved dual scale metric/imperial measuring devices for loose and bulk products.  For example meat, fruit, vegetables, road fuel.

Electronic devices may permit a change from metric to imperial display upon request of a customer.  Compulsory automatic reversion to metric measurement and pricing to occur after an imperial transaction is completed.  This facility would be offered at the discretion of a trader and would not be a statutory right.

 All dual scale devices must be capable of being verified by inspectors using metric checking devices.

 

Existing imperial preferences

 

Milk

Optionally may be sold in pint or two pint units (as well as .5 or 1 litre) only when in a container that can be returned to the vendor (or a scheme member).  Statutory requirements:

1. Doorstep delivery vendors must offer a doorstep collection for returned  empty reusable containers.

2. Shops selling milk in reusable  containers must place a collection point for empties within 10 metres of each entrance (inside or outside). 

3. All other milk containers to contain approved metric quantities.

 

Beer & Cider on draught

Option for publicans to sell these in either approved metric or imperial measures.  Only one system is to be allowed for each licensed premise.  Trade representatives will design a suitable logo that can be prominently displayed in every licensed premise to indicate which system is in use.  Suggested metric measures are 33.3cl and 50cl.  Expectations would be for a very low take up by public houses, but restaurants may find metric measures useful.

 

Roads

National speed limits to be changed to nearest metric equivalents but imperial signage will be retained until market indications show the majority of drivers are using metric in vehicle displays. The market indicator for changing speed limit signs will be met when a majority of vehicles presented for their first MOT test use metric displays

New limits will be 35, 50, 65, 80, 100 and 120 km/h.  Note only one of these shares the same numerical value as the existing mph limits and all are marginally higher than the mph limits they replace.  For example speed limit signs:

20  speed limit 35 km/h

30  speed limit 50 km/h

40  speed limit 65 km/h

Drivers will have the statutory right to select either a metric or imperial in-vehicle display and consequently use either the lower signed mph limits or the higher statutory km/h limits.  Switchable readouts are already a standard feature of vehicles with digital displays.  All speed safety checks and permitted margins of error will change to reflect the new km/h limits.

All new/replacement road signs (except those relating to speed) will display metric data; but dual display of imperial units will remain an option to be used at the discretion of the highway authority.  Existing signs need only be replaced at the end of their life or when changes are made to the road where they are sited. The indicators “mi” or “mile/s” will be used for all new signs that show distances in statute miles.  New/replacement long distance signs will carry dual km/mile figures until the market (MOT first test returns) shows a majority of drivers using their metric display.

Manufacturers of motor vehicles will be required to fit dual displays until the market (MOT first test returns) shows a majority of drivers using their metric display.  Thereafter metric only displays may be fitted by manufacturers, but dual displays will still be permitted either as standard or as a customer option.

Speed displays will follow the principles outlined under general principles except MPH will remain outside of km/h for analogue dial displays.

Adopt the metric pint (i.e as slang for 500ml)

We live in peculiar times. This country passed laws legalising to metric measurements in 1896, and actually declared itself to be an "offically metric country" in 1995. Real speedy progress there guys! Only 99 years to do it!

But of course we all know it to be a fabrication. Amongst our odd legislation still on the statute books is a requirement that pubs sell draught beer by the old imperial pint, and an exemption to the usual rules allowing milk sold in returnable containers also to be sold in old imperial pints.

Why does an "officially metric" country have these anomalous laws? They should really be repealed now.

Why is this idea important?

We live in peculiar times. This country passed laws legalising to metric measurements in 1896, and actually declared itself to be an "offically metric country" in 1995. Real speedy progress there guys! Only 99 years to do it!

But of course we all know it to be a fabrication. Amongst our odd legislation still on the statute books is a requirement that pubs sell draught beer by the old imperial pint, and an exemption to the usual rules allowing milk sold in returnable containers also to be sold in old imperial pints.

Why does an "officially metric" country have these anomalous laws? They should really be repealed now.

Permit usage of metres on road signs

Current Traffic Sign Regulations disallow the usage of the ‘metre’ on Road Signs, forcing the use of the ‘yard’ instead. This forces the use of an old fashioned measure which is so close to the metre to be a modern metric alternative. . The yard is so close to the metre that many road signs that show a distance in yards are actually positioned ready for metrication. Eg you often see signs for 110 yards, which is 100m so signs would not need to be repositioned.The word metre could be abbreviated to ‘mtr’ to avoid confusion with miles. The yard is currently always abbreviated to the letter ‘yrd’ anyway which is 3 letters.

Why is this idea important?

Current Traffic Sign Regulations disallow the usage of the ‘metre’ on Road Signs, forcing the use of the ‘yard’ instead. This forces the use of an old fashioned measure which is so close to the metre to be a modern metric alternative. . The yard is so close to the metre that many road signs that show a distance in yards are actually positioned ready for metrication. Eg you often see signs for 110 yards, which is 100m so signs would not need to be repositioned.The word metre could be abbreviated to ‘mtr’ to avoid confusion with miles. The yard is currently always abbreviated to the letter ‘yrd’ anyway which is 3 letters.

Switch the white-on-brown “tourism” roadsigns to metric

Currently, the familiar white-on-brown roadsigns providing directions to tourist attractions are treated as any other roadsign and their formats are strictly governed by the Traffic Signs Regualtions and General Directions act (of 2002). That's OK in itself, but this forces those signs to conform with the other rules in TSRGD which enforce the use of miles and yards onto all signs.

Now, these are signs that are predominantly intended for tourists. A large number of these tourists will be from outside the UK and won't be familiar with miles or yards (as indeed are our own children until they are about 9 or 10 years old).

Make Britain more friendly for our visitors, and change the tourist signs to metric. Don't waste money requiring the old ones to be converted (though that would be an option). Just make it a requirement that all new ones are in metric and that when old ones need replacing that the replacement shall be in metric.

Just metric, not both systems. That would clutter the signs horribly especially in Wales where the current signs have to be translated. ( Welsh for 'mile' is 'milltir' and 'yards' is 'llath'. ) The great advantage of metric in Wales is that 'km' is 'km' and doesn't need to be translated. Other bits may do, but at least the distances would only appear once, and be clearly understood by all.

Why is this idea important?

Currently, the familiar white-on-brown roadsigns providing directions to tourist attractions are treated as any other roadsign and their formats are strictly governed by the Traffic Signs Regualtions and General Directions act (of 2002). That's OK in itself, but this forces those signs to conform with the other rules in TSRGD which enforce the use of miles and yards onto all signs.

Now, these are signs that are predominantly intended for tourists. A large number of these tourists will be from outside the UK and won't be familiar with miles or yards (as indeed are our own children until they are about 9 or 10 years old).

Make Britain more friendly for our visitors, and change the tourist signs to metric. Don't waste money requiring the old ones to be converted (though that would be an option). Just make it a requirement that all new ones are in metric and that when old ones need replacing that the replacement shall be in metric.

Just metric, not both systems. That would clutter the signs horribly especially in Wales where the current signs have to be translated. ( Welsh for 'mile' is 'milltir' and 'yards' is 'llath'. ) The great advantage of metric in Wales is that 'km' is 'km' and doesn't need to be translated. Other bits may do, but at least the distances would only appear once, and be clearly understood by all.

Make metric labelling compulsory as the primary unit of measurement on all items sold in all UK retailers

45 years ago, an elected UK Government acting on the advice of UK industry, announced the adoption of the metric system in 1975. This change brought tremendous benefits to UK businesses especially those whose trade involves international collaboration. The massive investment from overseas car manufacturers (eg Nissan, Honda & Toyota) demonstrates the need to use a near- universally adopted system of measurements. The education of the Imperial system of measurements was phased out in 1974 but the overall progress to complete metrication has been slower than planned due to wavering Goverment commitment in the face of a small but orchestrated campaign against the metric system. However, the public at large seem to accept metric and most everyday products are now sold exclusively in metric. I believe the time is now right to start converting the remaining key products areas into metric, namely clothing, shoes and TV/monitor screen sizes. Imperial sizes could still be mentioned as a secondary measure to help with the transition until a date 5 years hence when all Imperial measures should disappear forever

Why is this idea important?

45 years ago, an elected UK Government acting on the advice of UK industry, announced the adoption of the metric system in 1975. This change brought tremendous benefits to UK businesses especially those whose trade involves international collaboration. The massive investment from overseas car manufacturers (eg Nissan, Honda & Toyota) demonstrates the need to use a near- universally adopted system of measurements. The education of the Imperial system of measurements was phased out in 1974 but the overall progress to complete metrication has been slower than planned due to wavering Goverment commitment in the face of a small but orchestrated campaign against the metric system. However, the public at large seem to accept metric and most everyday products are now sold exclusively in metric. I believe the time is now right to start converting the remaining key products areas into metric, namely clothing, shoes and TV/monitor screen sizes. Imperial sizes could still be mentioned as a secondary measure to help with the transition until a date 5 years hence when all Imperial measures should disappear forever

Allow metres rather than yards on distance signs

At present, the Weights and Measures Act requires local authorities and others to use yards rather than metres in signs measuring distance (although this is not often enforced against private companies, local authorities and government agencies tend to follow the legal requirement).

The relevant sections of the Act should be repealed to permit (not force) the use of metres instead of yards, where local authorities and others responsible for signage think it is appropriate. 

Why is this idea important?

At present, the Weights and Measures Act requires local authorities and others to use yards rather than metres in signs measuring distance (although this is not often enforced against private companies, local authorities and government agencies tend to follow the legal requirement).

The relevant sections of the Act should be repealed to permit (not force) the use of metres instead of yards, where local authorities and others responsible for signage think it is appropriate. 

Reverse metrication

  • Remove requirement to state metric units when selling items domestically. Items for international sale should state both.
  • Phase back in use of Imperial units, both for selling items, and in education
  • Pardon all convictions for 'metric martyrs'

Why is this idea important?

  • Remove requirement to state metric units when selling items domestically. Items for international sale should state both.
  • Phase back in use of Imperial units, both for selling items, and in education
  • Pardon all convictions for 'metric martyrs'