Article added 11 January 2016


Dear Colchester Council

I am writing to you on behalf of Active Resistance to Metrication, an organisation that, since its inception in June 2001, has amended over 3,000 unauthorised metric signs to read in proper, legal, Imperial units.

It has come to A.R.M.’s attention that, since 15 April of this year, you have been made aware by a member of the general public of an installation of numerous unauthorised non-Imperial signs in your High Woods Park. As of 18 December, Colchester Council has taken no action to amend this installation.

A team from A.R.M. has inspected the signs in question and found that all of them, without exception, are indeed what is defined legally as ‘on the public highway’ for the purposes of the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (2002). Confirmation of the illegality of metric pedestrian signs has come from many sources including Mr Barry Smith, Chief Solicitor for Portsmouth City Council which erected some metric signs in error and East Cambridgeshire, Arun, and Amber Valley District Councils.

If you are in doubt that we are correct on this point you should check with your legal department. The U.K. Metrication Association, which promotes the metric system, also concedes that the United Kingdom is the only country in the world where metric signage is illegal.

Under T.S.R.G.D. 2002, metric distances are not legal; estimations of time, such as minutes, on footpath signs are not legal. Imperial units alone are legal for distance signs on roads and footpaths to which the public has access.

The Department for Transport has written to every level of authority in England and Wales reminding them that metric distances are not permitted on public roads and footpaths nor, for that matter, on private roads to which the public has access, e.g. park waymarks, footpaths, and cycleways.

Further, it is a defence to an allegation of removing or obliterating a sign on the highway (applicable to signs in the park) if said sign is ‘unlawfully placed on the highway’: Section 131(b), Highways Act 1980. Clearly an illegal, unauthorised metric sign is not ‘lawfully placed’.

We therefore ask you to inform us, within 14 days, when you will convert the signs and displays to Imperial units.

This should be recorded as a formal complaint under your Complaints Procedure and in due course we will need to know if our complaint is upheld or rejected.

Should we not hear from you, A.R.M. reserves the right to dispatch a team of our operatives to bring High Woods Park into full compliance.

We trust you will give this matter your prompt and full attention.

Yours sincerely

Rod Pole
for the Council of A.R.M.