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KILL THE METRE

A BREAKTHROUGH FROM DoT

 

Following recent anti-metric activity concerning traffic and distance signs the following has been received by a  BWMA member.
This also includes a clear statement circulated to all local authorities (below) which can be printed off from this site.

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Copy of a letter from DoT :p>

  :p>

Department 
for Transport
  :p>

JULIE KEISZKIEWICZ
Traffic Management Division
TM4
 
3/21
Great Minster House
76 Marsham St
London SW1P 4DR :p>

29th July 2002  :p>

Dear BWMA:p>

Thank you for your letter of 13 July to David Jamieson. I have been asked to reply.  :p>

As you are aware, an amending EU Directive in 1989 provided for the continuation in use – for specific purposes – of a limited number of imperial units, including the mile and yard for speed and distance measurements on traffic signs. Rather than setting an express deadline the in Directive for conversion of these units, it authorised their continued use until a date to be fixed by the Member States concerned.  :p>

The position has been reviewed by successive Governments and the present Government has no plans to use metric units for speed and distance on traffic signs. The current position was explained in Mr Jamieson’s reply to a Parliamentary Question from Mr Parmjit Dhanda on 11 July:  :p>

“Although many drivers are familiar with metric units it would not be appropriate to fix a date for converting speed limit and distance signs while there is still likely to be a significant proportion of drivers for whom the change could be potentially confusing.”  :p>

The other remarks you quote as having seen in a newspaper report were not made by Mr Jamieson and are not an accurate statement of the Department’s position.  :p>

Ministers will continue to review the position from time to time. Meanwhile, I enclose a copy of a letter which has been sent to Chief Executives of all County Councils, Metropolitan District Councils, London Borough Councils, Unitary Councils and District Councils in England, about the provisions of the Traffic Signs Regulations in relation to use of metric and imperial units of measurement.  :p>

Decisions as to whether the provisions and requirements of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and TSRGD 1994 apply to particular signs in particular locations involve questions of law which are a matter for the courts.  :p>

Diagram 669 is prescribed to give advance information about the nature of restrictions or prohibitions, not show detailed dimensions. There is no provision in TSRGD 1994 or the draft revised regulations for signs to diagram 669.1 to incorporate roundels showing metric height or width restrictions only.  :p>

Yours sincerely,  :p>

Julie Kieszkiewicz

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Copy of a circular from DoT to local authorities  :p>

Department 
for Transport
  :p>

Traffic Management Division
Zone 3/17
Great Minster House
76 Marsham St
London SW1P 4DR :p>

  :p>

16 July 2002  :p>

TO:-Chief Executives of :p>

County Councils, Metropolitan District Councils,
London Borough Councils, Unitary Councils and
District Councils in England.
  :p>

Dear Chief Executive :p>

  :p>

THE TRAFFIC SIGNS REGULATIONS AND GENERAL DIRECTIONS 1994 – UNITS OF MEASUREMENT.

In view of the recent publicity about a court case involving damage to road works signs that showed distances in metres, you might find it helpful to have the enclosed note summarising the provisions of the Traffic Signs Regulations in relation to the use of imperial and metric units of measurement on traffic signs.  :p>

Yours sincerely,  :p>

Mike Talbot
Head of Traffic Management Division.

------------------------------------------------------------------------  :p>

THE TRAFFIC SIGNS AND GENERAL DIRECTIONS 1994 – UNITS OF MEASUREMENT  :p>

The Traffic Signs Regulations 1994 (SI 1994 No 1519 Part I) allow signs displaying distances in imperial units only (miles or yards). Any sign which incorporates metric distances in not a traffic sign within the meaning of Section 64 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 * and is not covered by the power to place traffic signs conferred by section 65.  :p>

Section 65 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 permits traffic authorities to place traffic signs on or near any road in their area. Section 142 of the same Act defines “road” as any length of highway or of any other road to which the public has access* – the Act therefore covers privately owned roads to which the public has access as well as highways maintained at public expense.

Designs for direction signs, including those to be used on public footpaths and bridleways*, are specified in Schedule 7 of the Traffic Signs Regulations. Distance plates for warning signs are specified in Schedule 1. Items 3 to 8 of Schedule 16 provide for the distances shown on particular signs to be varied to include fractions of miles, or to yards where the distance is less than half a mile, as specified for the sign diagrams listed in those items in Schedule 16. Guidance on detailed design is given in Chapter 7 of the Traffic Signs Manual, available from the Stationery Office.  :p>

Direction 35 of the Traffic Signs General Directions 1994 (SI 1994 No 1519 Part II) permits the use of signs indicating vehicle length or width restrictions in metres but only if this restriction is also shown in feet and inches*. Signs indicating height limit may show feet and inches only (diagram 629.2) or imperial and metric limits together (diagram 629.2A).  :p>

* Our emphasis

Please print and circulate this to any local authority you choose.
Also available as a .doc file ( Microsoft Word) - click here to download as a .doc file.
:p>

:p>

 

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