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Whether you are learner driver or an experienced motorist, you can email any driving-related question to info@wycombedrivingschool.co.uk and you will receive a personal response from Wycombe Driving School boss Audrey Wixon, pictured. The best questions and answers will be published on this website anonymously.

Audrey is a DSA ADI; DIAmond, IAM and RoSPA Gold Advanced Driver; Fleet Trainer; Observer for Institute of Advanced Motorists; & National Standard cycling instructor

Audrey Wixon - manager of Wycombe Driving School
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Why aren't road signs in kilometres like abroad?

Q: Why do our speed limit and direction signs still show measurements in miles instead of kilometres? The modern world communicates in metres and kilometres, not feet and miles. Are there any plans to change over to metric signage?

metric road sign A: At present the government has no plans to change the existing road sign system. They say that changing signs would cost millions of pounds and that would be a waste of tax-payers’ money.

It is a bit unfortunate that we have two measurement systems in use in this country – metric, which is taught in schools, as well as the old imperial system. So we measure fizzy drinks in litres but beer in pints and we use metres for athletics but miles for road signs.

Successive governments have held the view that there is no urgency to make road signs metric until the majority of drivers have been educated in the metric system, which only recently became the case.

When Ireland switched to metric road signs in 2005 the UK became the only European country to use imperial measurements on road signs. Nevertheless, in 2009 the EU withdrew a requirement for the UK to fix a date to switch to metric, so there is currently no pressure for change.

Metric campaigners argue that the metric system has been taught in schools for nearly 40 years now and imperial road signs look old-fashioned and confuse foreign visitors. However, those who want to keep miles and feet on road signs say the switch-over would confuse UK motorists and be an unnecessary expense.
Audrey Wixon
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Wycombe Driving School - for driving lessons in High Wycombe and surrounding areas - including Amersham, Beaconsfield, Marlow, Hazlemere, Stokenchurch and Princes Risborough. We offer successful, structured driving lessons, providing free theory test software and lesson handouts. Male and female driving instructors are available, providing both manual and automatic driving lessons.