Metric signs call after bridge crash

Another foreign lorry has hit a notorious low bridge near Cannock, prompting police to call for signs at the blackspot to be written in metric.

the railway bridge in Station Drive, Four AshesAnother foreign lorry has hit a notorious low bridge near Cannock, prompting police to call for signs at the blackspot to be written in metric.

 

the railway bridge in Station Drive, Four AshesThe Scania articulated lorry, which was driven by a man from Slovenia, struck the railway bridge in Station Drive, Four Ashes, closing the road for two hours. The accident - the third since April - saw the driver attempt to clear the 12ft 3in bridge but the underside of the bridge ripped into the top of his empty trailer just after 1pm yesterday.

 

railway bridge in Station Drive, Four AshesPolice now want to see warnings giving the bridge's height in metric alongside existing signs so foreign drivers are clear about the height. The bridge, which was struck by this training bus in April, carries the main passenger rail route from Wolverhampton to Scotland but trains were not affected.

 

railway bridge in Station Drive, Four AshesA Hungarian lorry struck a bridge in April. Pc Michael Percival, of Watling Street police station in Cannock, said: "We are making recommendations, as are Network Rail, to have metric signs put up in the area. This will hopefully alleviate the problems."

Comments for: "Metric signs call after bridge crash"

Brittian

If the foreign drivers cannot understand English height warning notices they should not be allowed to drive on our roads. What has happened to common sense in this country

Davyth

Metric signs have replaced imperial signage in Ireland. Indeed Britain is the only country in the commonwealth not to use the metric system on roads... I remember learning everything in metric in school including my weight and height only to leave school and find the older generation to be to set in their ways to adapt... please can we complete the metrication process which was started in the 1960s! And join progressive countries like Australia, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa who have made the switch without fuss and without the world coming to an end!

Davyth

Brittian, are you suggesting that only Americans, Liberians and Burmese people be allowed to drive in the UK? They are the only countries still using imperial measures on their roads?! Ludicrous! Perhaps the rest of the world should ban British people from driving in their countries (with the exception of Liberia, Burma and the USA ofcourse....)

Alex Bailey

In response to Brittain... I'm British and I don't understand those daft feet and inches either! The owners manuals for my last 3 cars give dimensions in metric only and those I understand as those were the units I was taught at school in the 1970's, roads should have been metricated fully by 1974 if the original plan had been stuck with.

By your logic, nobody under 45 should be allowed to drive in Britain!!!

David Brown

Distances in almost every field of human endeavour are quoted in metres. Yet on the (UK) roads we are expected to work with feet and inches. What has happened to common sense in this country?

Derek

Cost of extra signs, say £200. Cost of damage to bridge and vehicles, plus inconvenience to rail travellers and road users, say £10,000. Seems a no-brainer to me. But I don't work for the DfT.

Ezra Steinberg

Interestingly enough, all design specifications from the Department of Transport are in metric. How strange to read their manual and to see a speed limit sign completely specified in millimetres and yet the sign indicates the speed limit in miles per hour! Even better, warning signs are to be posted at various intervals specified in metres before a hazard or activity, yet the distance painted on the sign must be in yards (and the two values are identical, that is, the sign posted at 400 metres must say "400 yds"!)

Stan

It is good to hear that the need for metric on road signs is finally being recognised. Regardless of whether anyone is sympathetic to foreigners or not they are a fact of life and do use our roads. We have to trade with the rest of the world and its no good pretending otherwise. Britain is now almost unique in using imperial on road signs which doesn't make any sense even from our own national perspective. We use the metric system in almost everything else so why not on road signs? The fact that we don't is purely because successive governments ducked the responsibility for the change. We are one country we don't need two systems of measurement. It's time to put it right!

John Hemming

Some years ago they changed the dimension signs in London to metric. Almost overnight the number of claims for damaged vehicles went up. If you replace imperial signs with metric ones you simply move the issue around so that the indiginous population become at risk instead. A better idea would be to have a converstion guide much like the mph/kph ones that can be seen on entry points to the UK.

Andy

Its about time we changed the signs to metric. Most people below 40-odd don't really understand imperial. Its extremely irresponsible to go part way through the metrication process and then stop, with no plans to ever complete the job. As someone else said its simply a case of successive governments passing the buck. It has to happen sometime, but no-one wants to take responsibility.

David King

I learnt metric at school back in the 1970s (in this country), it is so easy, we should totally adopt it in this country and put metric on all our road signs as soon as possible. Otherwise we risk yet more lorries being trashed as the drivers have not been educated in ancient imperial measurements (and neither have I). Metric signage on roads should have been put into place in the 1970s, but I think that Margaret Thatcher put a stop to it. That was a stupid error on her part, I hope she now regrets it. These accidents are partly her fault. We need to go fully metric asap, especially as those of us age 40 or under only really understand metric. I have no idea how high 14 feet is, for example, but I can picture 4.7 metres, which I have seen on some height restriction signs. The metric measurements must be added to all the other signs as well. And get rid of the stupid imperial ones, we do not need those any more.

Robin Willow

The comments from the metricators show the effectiveness of the indoctrination in schools. I always reckon to teach all the available ideas, but the metricators are afraid that people will prefer the ancient and suitable traditional measurements. so they exclude valid ideas from being taught.

My favourite is the Chinese lesson. In Chinese a radical character used in many Chinese words is the character Tsun [cun4]. It means 'inch'.

Robin

WimbleburyWolf

Why is it we buy a sheet of chipboard in imperial (8 feet x 4 feet), yet we specify its thickness in metric (20mm).

Quite simply put two measurements up, then all people are catered for!

Michael Commdon

It is absolutely ludicrous that the signage here isn't already in metric. We cannot expect foreign countries that have been converted for decades to do the conversions off the top of their head while driving 80+ km/h. How about we start here and make ALL signs metric across the rest of England?

Martin Vlietstra

The quickest way to metricate our height and width restriction signs safely would be to replace existing signs with inperial units by ones with metric units, but to have a sign with the imperial equivalent in a smaller font beneath each new metric sign. This would encourage drivers to use metric units, but provide the safety of of those who were still unsure of the heights of their vehicles.

eric

"Hemming said: Jun 25th, 2008 at 11:50 am Some years ago they changed the dimension signs in London to metric. Almost overnight the number of claims for damaged vehicles went up. If you replace imperial signs with metric ones you simply move the issue around so that the indiginous population become at risk instead. A better idea would be to have a converstion guide much like the mph/kph ones that can be seen on entry points to the UK."

Australia changed from miles to km on one weekend without any increase in accidents. Now, if that much more onerous task was achieved accident free what prevents Brits from using a yard and a bit to get the feel for a metre?

eric

Answer to No.12, Robin Willow

If teaching the metric system is akin to indoctrination the overwhelming majority of British people less than 40 years old would use metric measurements exclusively. Since this is not the case, it’s either poor indoctrination, or more likely Britain’s dismal attempt to go metric

I am sure we all agree that youngsters’ education should be as comprehensive as possible. That said it stands to reason not to waste precious time on teaching 2 measurement systems when almost everybody on this globe does fine with one.

Chris P

Since we went metric in the 70s, why are all our road signs not in metric, or at least in dual metric/nonsense for the ignorant "This is England" brigade