To ease the transition to metric measures, straight substitution of units is often used – kg for pounds, metres for yards, km for miles and so on. Ronnie Cohen argues that, as a result, we fail to take advantage of metric’s superiority in dealing with a range of numbers, including the very large (and small).
In Ireland, the changeover from Imperial to metric of its highway distance signs began in the 1990s. This was followed by the change of speed limit signs, which took place over a week-end in January 2005. Seven years on, we take a fresh look at the outcome.
Ronnie Cohen writes about the muddle of measurement units he has found on public signs in London, particularly those related to public transport and cycling. If two measurement systems were not bad enough, he has found there are now three.
Metric Views has attempted to produce a timeline showing progress in the British Isles towards the adoption of a single, simple, rational and coherent measurement system. This article takes the story up to 1980 – the events of the past thirty years will be the subject of a further post later. Readers’ suggestions for additions and amendments are welcome.