Polish language signs highlight signage mess

Highway authorities have provided metric and Polish language signage for Polish motorists but continue to ban metric signs for the rest of us.

A report in yesterday’s news media describes how Cheshire highway authorities have erected Polish language signage http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23385653-details/Road+signs+in+Polish+-+bonkers+says+Tory+MP/article.do. The reason for this is the large number of Polish motorists who have been getting lost. The pictures in the article even show that the authorities have thoughtfully provided distances in metres.

It is astonishing that Polish signage has been erected when any vehicles driving in Britain from abroad face the challenge of miles per hour speed limits and distances marked in miles and yards. It is not easy to follow speed restrictions when your speedometer is marked only in km/h. Department for Transport estimates that typical day there are 12,000 foreign lorries and 95,000 British ones on the country’s roads; 11% of the lorries.

While having nothing against Polish visitors, have the highway authorities thought about those metric-educated drivers in this country? Education has been all-metric since 1974 yet over a generation of young adults have been forbidden from using it by DfT’s imperial signage policy. British roads are designed, surveyed and built using metric but anachronistic traffic sign rules continue to ban the metre and kilometre (http://www.ukma.org.uk/Transport/index.htm).

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