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Old October 10th, 2009, 11:35 PM   #801
ChrisZwolle
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I don't see metrication happen either, just like the issues Harry pointed out. Both the UK and the United States are geographically too isolated to justify the high cost of conversion with little added value to the daily life.

As far as I know, most scientific work is done in metric anyway.
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Old October 10th, 2009, 11:46 PM   #802
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That's true. Most Brits are 'bilingual' when it comes to measurements (ie we understand both metric and imperial measures.) All scientific work is carried out in metric measures, as Chris says. Weights in supermarkets are now metric following EU legislation some years ago, and petrol is now sold in litres rather than gallons (although newspapers will often give a £/gallon comparison so people can appreciate how much more expensive it is than it was in the 1980s!)

But miles and pints are here to stay, I think. Most people will also give their own weight in stones/pounds (rather than kg) and their height in feet/inches (rather than metres). If they had to, they could probably convert - but the mindset is quite engrained.
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Old October 11th, 2009, 12:28 AM   #803
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It's not even hard. Anyone who doesn't know the following should really ask themselves why they are on the road:

30 mph ~ 50 km/h
40 mph ~ 60 km/h
50 mph ~ 80 km/h
60 mph ~ 100 km/h
70 mph ~ 110 km/h.
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Old October 11th, 2009, 02:20 AM   #804
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Thanks for the great trip report, pansori.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry View Post
.... accept this as a difference that makes the world a more interesting place. Why pursue standardisation/homogenisation for the sake of it?
I couldn't agree more!
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Old October 11th, 2009, 03:09 AM   #805
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Whatever guys... I guess I just disagree with you on miles and yards... time will show. Even if not, this is perhaps not the most major issue to be concerned with on UK roads.

And thanks for feedback on the report, I very much appreciate that. It's a pleasure to explore roads and share the reports with others too.
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Old October 11th, 2009, 12:48 PM   #806
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This is just beautiful. I love how the road follows the landscape:
image hosted on flickr
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Old October 11th, 2009, 03:40 PM   #807
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry View Post
And talking of madness...London to Cumbria and then back again in one day!! That's a long way. I hope you got a good rest afterwards. A single journey of that distance (~300 miles) is a long drive in my book.
Actually, I was the driver, and my journey was:
Brighton area - SW London to pick up Pansori
SW London - Barrow-in-Furness
Barrow-in-Furness northwards across the Lake district
Back to SW London to drop Pansori off
SW London - Brighton area

It was work related, I worked for about four hours and the whole journey took 15-16 hours of pure driving, so ~ 20 hours in total I drive across Europe a lot so I'm used to these distances. The most important thing is to take regular breaks and drink a lot of fluids.
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Old October 12th, 2009, 12:28 AM   #808
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
The aesthetics of these signs is below zero... There's a reason why no other country has signs like these? Any plans to improve the overheads?
image hosted on flickr
Whats there to improve? I've always thought they was pretty clear. Each arrow directs you to a particular lane...
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Old October 12th, 2009, 12:30 AM   #809
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCT View Post
It's not even hard. Anyone who doesn't know the following should really ask themselves why they are on the road:

30 mph ~ 50 km/h
40 mph ~ 60 km/h
50 mph ~ 80 km/h
60 mph ~ 100 km/h
70 mph ~ 110 km/h.
I don't know that. If you live in a country that just uses Mph then why would you need to know that?
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Old October 12th, 2009, 10:16 AM   #810
bleetz
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Well, I think converting to the International System of Units is a matter of principle rather than that of an economic efficiency. Since SI units are used in ALL scientific calculations in the world and make far more sense (i.e. having kilo- deci- centi- mili-, etc. prefixes instead of having units that don't relate to each other much), maybe its time to think about converting instead of sticking to an artificial and ancient unit system? What is the motivation for that? Nationalism? What are the arguments for this (apart from retarded ones like "EU will not take our sovereignty" and similar")?
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Old October 12th, 2009, 11:23 AM   #811
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bleetz View Post
Well, I think converting to the International System of Units is a matter of principle rather than that of an economic efficiency. Since SI units are used in ALL scientific calculations in the world and make far more sense (i.e. having kilo- deci- centi- mili-, etc. prefixes instead of having units that don't relate to each other much), maybe its time to think about converting instead of sticking to an artificial and ancient unit system? What is the motivation for that? Nationalism? What are the arguments for this (apart from retarded ones like "EU will not take our sovereignty" and similar")?
It's not so much about nationalism as pragmatism. As already stated, there would be a cost attached here - and the benefits seem only to extend to 'neatness', so far as I can tell. The residents of the UK do not consider themselves in anyway disadvantaged by the use of miles, and nor do they consider the system antiquated. So why change?

Or to put it another way, why do Lithuanians insist on speaking Lithuanian when this system of speech is adopted no where else. I appreciate that many Lithuanians have a second language (as you ably demonstrate), but would it not be so much simpler to abandon the Lithuanian language completely and for everyone there to agree to start speaking English from Jan 1st next year?
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Old October 12th, 2009, 11:41 AM   #812
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It would probably make sense to do so, however, this would destroy the identity of Lithuania and Lithuanians, and people wouldn't want to switch to English purely because of this. I have expressed the view that English (or any other chosen language) should be an official language in all EU member states to facilitate communication, however most people don't even want that for the same reasons and I can somewhat see why.

I don't see how switching to the metric system would destroy the English identity or how it would bring any negative consequences. If Lithuanians measured weight in apples and distances in fish, I'd be the first one in line campaigning for switching to the metric system. Yes, it would bring neatness and standardisation, which is a good thing. The imperial system and the metric system are not competing systems, metric system is better in all areas as shown by the fact that it is the sole system in science. In my opinion, it should be a matter of principle for a country to switch to the SI system, but of course its up to the Brits. As you have already mentioned, it doesn't make much difference.
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Old October 12th, 2009, 05:00 PM   #813
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My main issue with the use of the Imperial system in the U.K. is that the same speed limit signage is used as elsewhere in the world. As far as I know, in every other country that uses a red circle with a number inside it to indicate speed limit, the number is always in km/h. There's no explicit indication on these signs in the U.K. that they are actually being used in a non-standard way.
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Old October 12th, 2009, 06:48 PM   #814
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry View Post
The residents of the UK do not consider themselves in anyway disadvantaged by the use of miles, and nor do they consider the system antiquated. So why change?
Because the imperial system is outdated. Its not as accurate as the metric system. Its much easier to use a single system of internationally recognized units than switching from one system to another, causing confusion.

Here in Ireland, we we changed over to the metric system in 2005 and it hasn't caused us any problems so far. Before 2005, we were using MPH Speed limits. Really, the time has come for britain to go metric because its the only country in Europe still using MPH, Yards, miles etc.
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Old October 12th, 2009, 07:23 PM   #815
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highwaycrazy View Post
Because the imperial system is outdated. Its not as accurate as the metric system. Its much easier to use a single system of internationally recognized units than switching from one system to another, causing confusion.

Here in Ireland, we we changed over to the metric system in 2005 and it hasn't caused us any problems so far. Before 2005, we were using MPH Speed limits. Really, the time has come for britain to go metric because its the only country in Europe still using MPH, Yards, miles etc.
Again, I don't have much of a gripe with your points. We all know the overall trend, globally, is towards metrication. But as I've said before, the arguments for change in the UK are simply not strong enough to justify the upheaval and expense of a change. (In Ireland, a country of 4 million (?) people, I can understand there being a greater incentive to adhering to the international norm, but in the UK it's not quite as pressing.)

Tellingly, the three people to have recently been critical of the UK's approach on this thread have been an Irishman, a Lithuanian and an Aussie...but a change to metric measurements on roadsigns will only make its way up the political agenda here when Brits start complaining. And at the moment, no one cares. People here are perfectly happy with the status quo.

I may be proven wrong in the future but, for now, I just can't see it happening. Frankly, at the moment we have a few problems out there of a more pressing nature!
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Old October 12th, 2009, 07:35 PM   #816
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highwaycrazy View Post
Because the imperial system is outdated. Its not as accurate as the metric system. Its much easier to use a single system of internationally recognized units than switching from one system to another, causing confusion.

Here in Ireland, we we changed over to the metric system in 2005 and it hasn't caused us any problems so far. Before 2005, we were using MPH Speed limits. Really, the time has come for britain to go metric because its the only country in Europe still using MPH, Yards, miles etc.
The cost of doing the same in the UK would be *far* greater than the Republic of Ireland, which has far fewer roads, fewer cars and fewer people.
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Old October 12th, 2009, 07:50 PM   #817
bleetz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highwaycrazy View Post
Because the imperial system is outdated. Its not as accurate as the metric system. Its much easier to use a single system of internationally recognized units than switching from one system to another, causing confusion.

Here in Ireland, we we changed over to the metric system in 2005 and it hasn't caused us any problems so far. Before 2005, we were using MPH Speed limits. Really, the time has come for britain to go metric because its the only country in Europe still using MPH, Yards, miles etc.
What is the general attitude of the Irish towards this switch? Were there a lot of people that complained about it? Were there more accidents as the result of it? Are there any people that want to switch back?
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Old October 12th, 2009, 09:11 PM   #818
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Quote:
What is the general attitude of the Irish towards this switch? Were there a lot of people that complained about it? Were there more accidents as the result of it? Are there any people that want to switch back?
There wasn't a single accident because of the change. I suppose someone wants to change back, there are cranks everywhere plus the odd person that longs for the return of the British Empire.

The point about Britain is that metric measures have been introduced for most things in shops etc, roads remain outside this change process which is not really logical. It is a change that is going to come, you might as well do it sooner rather than later.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 12:52 AM   #819
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Surely anyone should do some homework before entering a foreign country? If you are on the road the presumably you can handle driving on the 'wrong' side of the road. If you've accomplished that what's difficult about miles?
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Old October 13th, 2009, 01:23 AM   #820
bleetz
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I don't think anybody in this thread has ever said that it is difficult to convert to miles.
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