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Old September 23rd, 2010, 11:23 PM   #1641
Jonesy55
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Whenever a scouse opens its gob, the whole world shuts its ears.
Play nicely please
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Old September 24th, 2010, 01:24 AM   #1642
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At the end of the day, any switchover will be political and I believe these switchovers usually are. South Africa's switchover from pounds shillings and pence to rands and cents, from miles to kilometres etc in the early 1960s was heavily political and associated with symbolically cutting ties to the British Empire. A British switchover would be associated with Europe. I don't believe it would be popular, so it probably won't happen in the forseeable future.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 04:33 PM   #1643
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...al-lumens.html

Look down at the comments to see the sheer idiocy some people will show if the EU attempts to change the units used for something. It is one of the odd things about the UK that we buy fuel in Litres and work out our miles per gallon. We also use Centigrade when it is cold and some people use Fahrenheit when it is warm (ie 'it is up into the 90s). Personally I have barely any idea about Fahrenheit and the weather forecast has been in Centigrade all my life, only when it is hot does the newspaper linked to above will start using Fahrenheit.

I think it is 95% likely we will stay with miles forever and over 99% that we will drive on the left forever, mainly as there are many emerging economies throughout the world who do the same.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 05:12 PM   #1644
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Double post, oops.

Last edited by Stainless; September 24th, 2010 at 05:14 PM. Reason: double post
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Old September 24th, 2010, 05:50 PM   #1645
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The weather used to be dual units - it only became Celsius (which is no more metric than Farenheit, but is more widely used, and Kelvin gets used in science, rather than Rankine) only about 9 or 10 years ago.

Before that, we, as a country, conspired to make our weather more changeable than it is - so we'd use the lower Celsius in Winter, and the higher Fahrenheit in summer - we seemingly did this for about 30 years. Farenheit now is just not used, with the exception of the occasional reference in summer in the papers. This is despite giving numbers that 99.99% of British Weather falls in the range of 0 to 100 - no negative fun, more definition while keeping whole numbers (as degrees C are 1.8 times the size of deg F).

wrt mpg, miles per litre would make a lot of sense, yet no one wants to give it - instead it's litres per 100km, which is backwards to the way we think - we go with economy (distance/amount of fuel) rather than consumption (amount of fuel/distance).
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Old September 24th, 2010, 07:42 PM   #1646
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Or we could use L/100 miles

Miles per gallon really annoys me as a gallon is something that hasn't been used for two decades in fuel sales and bears no relation to what people actually think of.

The only place you will still see a gallon is in the more reactionary newspapers when they STILL sometimes go with headlines like "Now petrol to cost more than £5 per gallon"

I love the way the Daily Express starts its front page headline with "Now" about twice a week, so obviously implying "first this, then that, and NOW this has happened!" as if we are in a perpetual and accelerating downward spiral into hell
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Old September 24th, 2010, 07:44 PM   #1647
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The only place you will still see a gallon is in the more reactionary newspapers when they STILL sometimes go with headlines like "Now petrol to cost more than £5 per gallon"
And conveniently forget the inflation over 2 decades was something like 50%...
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Old September 25th, 2010, 01:28 AM   #1648
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I once drove in the Netherlands through a low tunnel: 3.4 m clearance. Of course this is no problem for a passenger car, but one guy forgot he had bicycles mounted on top of his car Luckily I left some distance.
Around here, it's truckers who forget the height of the large, round hay bales... or worse, don't stop to check that the boom on an excavator hasn't lifted up due to the hydraulic oil getting really warm (can be a real problem with the hot summers here).

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There was a feasibility report done some years ago by DfT about changing signs from Imperial to Metric. The jist of this was that it would cost at least £750m.

Knowing the way we go about things like this, it would take 12 years to implement, and cost about £5bn in the end.

And for our European viewers that's €879m & €5.9bn respectively.
I think that all went to court and UK's top court threw out the proposed requirement to convert to Metric. That was a few years ago though, now.
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Old September 25th, 2010, 04:29 AM   #1649
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wrt mpg, miles per litre would make a lot of sense, yet no one wants to give it - instead it's litres per 100km, which is backwards to the way we think - we go with economy (distance/amount of fuel) rather than consumption (amount of fuel/distance).
Liters per 100km makes perfect sense to calculate economy of the trip. If you know that you have to drive, let say, 200km and know your car uses 6l/100km, it is easy to calculate you will burn 12 liters which will cost you certain amount of money. Easy.
How do you do it with mpg if fuel is priced in liters??
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Old September 25th, 2010, 06:33 AM   #1650
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One might think that us Americans are a possible reason you've kept certain random bits of your life in the Imperial system. We mostly use them, they work just fine for us, so we'll keep using them until we find that they don't work for us anymore - which probably won't be anytime soon. I'm perfectly familiar with metric units, I just don't think in terms of them.

So I'll be quite happy to allow the United States to take the blame for some British measurements to still be in the old system. We share a language, why not share a measurement system?
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Old September 25th, 2010, 06:34 AM   #1651
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Liters per 100km makes perfect sense to calculate economy of the trip. If you know that you have to drive, let say, 200km and know your car uses 6l/100km, it is easy to calculate you will burn 12 liters which will cost you certain amount of money. Easy.
How do you do it with mpg if fuel is priced in liters??
Remember that it's (I think) 3.89L = 1 gal
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Old September 25th, 2010, 11:47 AM   #1652
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3.79 L = 1 gallon
4.40 L = 1 dry gallon
4.55 L = 1 imp gallon
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Old September 25th, 2010, 01:07 PM   #1653
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So I'll be quite happy to allow the United States to take the blame for some British measurements to still be in the old system. We share a language, why not share a measurement system?
But we don't. US measurements are different, especially in volumetric units. A gallon and a pint for example are both good examples of that; US units are considerably smaller than Imperial ones. (And I think recently some journalists haven't quite realised this and they sometimes use US gallons. Of course when no one bar sensationalist newspapers actually uses gallons, it's not really a surprise that people don't know how big a gallon is!)

I agree we should absolutely be converting into kilometres on the roads. Gradually of course - when signs eventually get replaced, I think they should put up metric signs. One DfT proposal which I liked was that km/h speed limits would be on a yellow background and so could easily be identified. (As a scientist, I guess I'm slightly biassed in favour of SI.)

But by far the more important issue I have with UK road signs is that they don't take into account standard restriction cancellation by intersections. Since the UK isn't party to the Vienna Convention of Road Signs and Signals, of course it's allowed to do it, but it always confuses pretty much everyone from the continent who drives with me in the UK. I think standardising this, and potentially removing the vast number of textual signs (e.g. there was one on my way to the lab for a while saying 'Compulsory diversion for HGVs', which admittedly I don't think is a legal sign, but still - how on earth is someone who doesn't speak English meant to understand this?) would be much more beneficial to road traffic than metrication (even though I'd like to see both happen some day).
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Old September 25th, 2010, 01:57 PM   #1654
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One might think that us Americans are a possible reason you've kept certain random bits of your life in the Imperial system. We mostly use them, they work just fine for us, so we'll keep using them until we find that they don't work for us anymore - which probably won't be anytime soon. I'm perfectly familiar with metric units, I just don't think in terms of them.

So I'll be quite happy to allow the United States to take the blame for some British measurements to still be in the old system. We share a language, why not share a measurement system?
I don't think that's the case tbh. I think its more a case of people not being used to to metric. Remember that Europe has been using metric since the Napoleonic times whereas its a (relatively) new system for us Brits.

Metrification is being done one bit at a time and eventually will replace Imperial although how long this will take is anyone's guess. Driving on the wrong side of the road will never happen but I do think Km will replace Miles eventually but it will need a deal doing with the EU on how its going to financed and implemented.

I'm from the generation that can do both metric & imperial calculations. The current generation is more Metrified than mine and the next generation after will be even more Metrified. eg My niece cannot measure anything in Imperial. She is completely Metrified in that department. She doesn't need or use pints or miles as she's only 12. I'm not sure how much Imperial is still taught at schools these days but I'll be surprised if its more than 5% compared to Metric.

One more thing, give us €1.50 to the £ and we'll swop to the Euro.
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Old September 25th, 2010, 02:28 PM   #1655
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Liters per 100km makes perfect sense to calculate economy of the trip. If you know that you have to drive, let say, 200km and know your car uses 6l/100km, it is easy to calculate you will burn 12 liters which will cost you certain amount of money. Easy.
How do you do it with mpg if fuel is priced in liters??
It makes absolutely no sense to calculate economy with l/100km. It is a stupid unit for measure fuel economy (because it measures the inverse - consumption) in the UK (which doesn't use km). That's two minus points, the first one being a biggy, whereas mpg at least only has one! OK, you can measure consumption with it, but it's just as useless as mpg, as it uses units we don't!

In the UK we work with fuel economy. I have x litres of fuel: how far can I go before filling up again? The other way of thinking just seems totally backwards - you never go "I want to drive 30 miles, how much fuel should I get?", because you just fill up the tank, or put in £30 or whatever. Of course, if you do fill up the tank, it's probably got the amount of gallons somewhere in the literature, so mpg can work with that, though mpL would also work, but l/100km is giving you the wrong variable (and it's also not l/km, meaning having to effectively convert the km of your journey into hecto-kilometres to work out how much fuel you'll need).

mpg doesn't work - I said that (read my post), but litres/100km isn't the metric equivalent or a unit that makes sense to us in a practical way, so mpL is the unit that we want and need, but don't get - we either get a unit that is backwards and uses distance units we don't use, or we get one where we don't use the capacity unit.

As I said in my post above, Miles per Litre is the logical UK measure when it comes to the fuel usage-distance relationship. Yet no one gives it - that's my point.

mpg is right idea, but we don't get fuel in gallons any more. l/100km is just totally useless at conveying the information - we don't use km and the unit is the reciprocal of what we want. We want economy, with big numbers meaning better, not consumption, with small numbers being better. More bizarrely, in car ads, they treat both units as if they were equivalent - x mpg (y l/100k) - when they aren't! They do work as comparison units between cars, but you'd be able to do that with mpL as well.
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Old September 25th, 2010, 02:49 PM   #1656
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It makes absolutely no sense to calculate economy with l/100km. It is a stupid unit for measure fuel economy (because it measures the inverse - consumption) in the UK (which doesn't use km). That's two minus points, the first one being a biggy, whereas mpg at least only has one! OK, you can measure consumption with it, but it's just as useless as mpg, as it uses units we don't!
Have you read this article? Makes a very strong case for l/100km (or a US/Imperial equivalent).

/csd

Last edited by csd; September 25th, 2010 at 05:40 PM. Reason: had units the wrong way around.
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Old September 25th, 2010, 02:57 PM   #1657
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In the Netherlands we use km per liter to indicate the fuel consumption. For example "my car consumes 1 liter per 18 kilometers".
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Old September 25th, 2010, 05:47 PM   #1658
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Have you read this article? Makes a very strong case for km/100l (or a US/Imperial equivalent).
It makes a stupid case for it - why would anyone need to compare two different economy savings? Surely you have "my car does 20mpg, this car does 32mpg, and this one 35mpg - clearly the latter is a better move wrt fuel economy.

I guess you would if you owned two cars and could only change one. You'd have to look at other factors like usage as well, you'll end up doing a reasonable bit of maths anyway and spot the problem that the consumption savings aren't linear (there's a reciprocal relationship) if your are looking at economy. Average Joe here is only dumb, because he doesn't need to do it.

Anyway, my point was that l/100km measures consumption (which is actually what the article is arguing for, not l/100km), not economy - perhaps consumption is a more useful thing for buying cars, but less useful when you are actually using one.
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In the Netherlands we use km per liter to indicate the fuel consumption. For example "my car consumes 1 liter per 18 kilometers".
km/l is a measure of economy, not consumption. However, that way of phrasing it is basically just turning it into l/km (which is consumption), with the distance still the variable. Still a better way of looking at it than litres/100km, given you buy certain amounts of fuel, and have a fixed quantity, and drive variable amounts of distance. l/100km fixes the distance (at an awkward amount - no one drives 0.5x100km, they drive 50km).
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Old September 25th, 2010, 05:59 PM   #1659
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perhaps consumption is a more useful thing for buying cars
I think that's the point the author is trying to make.

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Old September 25th, 2010, 06:14 PM   #1660
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We do use metric in all liquid and weights. It just happens that beer and milk often comes in multiples of 568ml because thats the size it always has been. It isn't because it is an imperial size, because it isn't, it is because that is the size we are used to. We drink our drinks in pints because we always have done. Apart from of course when we don't....

If I go to my local corner shop the most common canned beer size is 440ml. followed by 500ml, and there's a couple of 568ml labelled PINT CAN! to dupe people into paying more per litre.

Likewise the most common bottled beer size is 330ml, followed by 500ml, with some 568ml, a few 660ml and a few 750ml.

Indeed this was the case 10 years ago when I worked in Threshers, and still is.

Beer comes in pints in pubs, I imagine because there is no point throwing out all the glasses and getting new 500ml ones. Its not as if it affects anything other than the size of the drink.

None of which has any relevance to a discussion about the use of metric on road signs.
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