The Minister for Transport, Séamus Brennan T.D., today (Friday, 10th September 2004) announced that Thursday, 20th January 2005 has been set as the date for the official changeover of all speed limits from imperial miles to kilometres.
The Minister also announced the establishment of a Metric Changeover Board-incorporating members of an implementation group that has been working on the transition for some time-to oversee the logistical elements of the change and also to structure a comprehensive and concentrated public information campaign to ensure that all road users are familiar with new metric signs.
Minister Brennan said: "I am confident that we can make the changeover from miles to kilometres safely and smoothly. It will be the responsibility of the Metric Changeover Board to ensure that all the necessary arrangements are in place to facilitate the change taking place efficiently. This will be the most significant change to speed limits in the history of the State and it will be accompanies by a vigorous multi-media and public information campaign. I am asking the motor industry, local authorities and all relevant agencies to work closely with the Metric Changeover Board so that the transition from miles to kilometres can be achieved in the same highly efficient and professional manner as was the change from Punts to Euros."
Minister Brennan said that in addition to the changeover to metric speed limits, the opportunity is also being taken to implement the recommendations of the Working Group on Speed Limits. Among the recommendations of this Group was that the speed limit on non-national or country roads be reduced from 60mph to 50mph.
Minister Brennan said the decision to adopt metric speed limits reflects a need to bring all of our road signage into line, based on metric values. The programme for metrication of distance signs, which has been ongoing for some years, has given rise to an anomalous situation for road users as the majority of distance signs on national roads are currently shown in metric and in miles on non national roads. All speed limit signs are expressed in miles.
Full details of the recommendations by the Review Group can be obtained on the Department's website www.transport.ie (see link below).
Tom Rowley (01) 6041089 087 8124723
Veronica Scanlan (01) 6041087 087