Active Resistance to Metrication
66 Chippingfield, HARLOW, Essex, CM17 0DJ Tel: 01279 635789
PRESS RELEASE  FRIDAY 28 JUN 2002

LEE VALLEY PARK ADMIT DEFEAT IN MILES v. KILOMETRES BATTLE
SIGNS WILL BE MILES BETTER – BENNETT

This week anti-metric campaigner Tony Bennett, a 54-year-old market researcher from Harlow, learnt that his group Active Resistance to Metrication (ARM) had won its three-year battle to persuade Lee Valley Park to replace all the Parks metric footpath signs with signs in miles and yards. ARM had claimed the signs were illegal under the 1994 Traffic Signs Regulations.

Essex Police arrested Mr Bennett earlier this year on information supplied by the Park, who had claimed that he and others had vandalised the Parks signs by affixing plates on them showing the correct distances in miles and yards. But on Wednesday, Police told Mr Bennett that the Park had signed a statement of retraction after their legal advisers told them Mr Bennett had been right all along to insist that the metric signs were illegal. They would now offer no evidence and the case against Mr Bennett has been dropped.

Mr Bennett now expects the Park to erect dozens of new signs just in miles and yards. Last December, after anti-metric activists amended several dozen signs in one ‘raid’, the Park removed many of their signs, leaving walkers with no directions at all. “It’s a shame Lee Valley Park had to waste Police time and get me to spend 10 hours in Police cells before admitting their mistake. But better late than never, I suppose”, he said.

The Authoritys decision came as a new survey by respected pollsters ICM [full details available] found that only 4% of British people normally thought in kilometres rather than miles, and 86% wanted British direction signs to stay in miles and yards. ARM is capitalising on Lee Valley Parks embarrassment by selling postcards showing two of their number amending metric signs at Broxbourne Station. They are selling like hot cakes already, said Tony. Now there will be even greater demand for them [card available]

* ARM’s work in Lee Valley Park featured two months ago in a short documentary film made for BBC London News. It has since been shown nationwide. The British Weights and Measures Association this year presented Mr Bennett with the Inch Perfect award, a 36-inch golden rule, for his services over the past year to British weights and measures.

PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES

Many of ARM’s amended signs may still be seen around the Park. At Stanstead Abbots and elsewhere, however, the Park took ARM’s amended signs down in December and has not replaced them. Photos of posts with the signs missing can be taken. Tony may be photographed with his 36-inch rule. ARM’s postcard may be reproduced.

FURTHER INFORMATION Tony Bennett 01279 635789