Rejecting metrication

THE recent report by the UK Metric Association, supported by Lords Howe and Kinnock, urging the Government to change all UK road and footpath signs to give distances in kilometres or metres and abolish the current imperial signage system displaying miles

THE recent report by the UK Metric Association, supported by Lords Howe and Kinnock, urging the Government to change all UK road and footpath signs to give distances in kilometres or metres and abolish the current imperial signage system displaying miles and yards, has met with overwhelming opposition from the general public.

Opinion polls run by TV and other media have produced results rejecting metrication of by huge majorities. For example "Good Morning" (ITV) reported that 97 per cent were opposed to metric conversion, ITV Teletext 96 per cent against, the BBC "Have Your Say" poll produced 85.9 per cent and the AOL News website poll attracted 30,000 votes of which 82.5 per cent preferred to keep the mile.

The objectives of the UKMA are to enforce total metrication on the British people and eliminate all use of imperial units of measurements. To achieve this they have asked the European Commission to press the Government to set a date for completion of the metrication programme.

European Union directives have meant that since 1995 the United Kingdom has had to weigh and price all merchandise in metric measures, but has been "allowed" to show imperial equivalents alongside. However, on January 1 2010, it will become an offence to show any equivalent imperial units as supplementary indicators.

Independent opinion polls initiated by the British Weights and Measures Association indicate that 80 per cent of the British people still prefer their own customary weights and measures and many are angered by edicts from Brussels aimed at eradicating imperial units of measurement from the UK.

As 21 patrons and honorary members of the British Weights and Measures Association state in their open letter to the Prime Minister, this threat to traditional British weights and measures is no more than a malicious attack on our cultural heritage as well as our democracy and is repression purely for its own sake.

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DEREK NORMAN, Council member, British Weights and Measures Association, Brampton Road, Huntingdon

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