Severn Trent have issued an apology after placing illegal metric road signs at roadworks in Baschurch.
UKIP prospective parliamentary candidate for Shrewsbury & Atcham, Suzanne Evans, expressed her astonishment that a company that digs up roads on a daily basis didn’t realise that the use of metric measurements on road signs was illegal.
Severn Trent can’t have failed to notice we travel ‘miles’ in our cars in Britain so these signs make little sense.
The European Union has been zealous in its efforts to get Britain to switch over to kilometres but we have opted-out of doing this so far.
They are a large company that work all over the country and they must know that this is the law. But what about common sense, I mean what does kilometres even mean to most people? I hope Shropshire Council has had a stern word with Severn Trent so this doesn’t happen again.
The use of metric in the public sector was required by the Units Measurement Directive and public bodies using imperial measurements face prosecution for not complying. However, road signs must use imperial measurements. They can use both imperial and metric as long as the imperial is more prominent but you can’t have metric-only road signs. The UK Metric Association commissioned a YouGov poll in January of this year and found that:
- Half of respondents were opposed to completing metrication, with a quarter supportive and a fifth indifferent or non-committal.
- Although younger generations were more supportive than the older, still 36% of the 18-24 age group were opposed.
- Where there are specific practical reasons for using metric units, the majority of the population prefer to use them
- However, where parental, peer and media pressures are strongly in favour of imperial units, all age groups continue to use imperial – including for personal weighing
- Although there was a definite association between age and acceptance/use of metric units, there was still either a majority or a large minority of younger people who habitually use imperial rather than metric units for various everyday functions
The majority of people use imperial measurements, not metric and the laws requiring road signs to use the measurement system that most people use is for road safety. If companies are allowed to flout this law, which other safety laws should they be allowed to ignore?