24 February 2006

No more miles please

What is all this fuss about miles being removed and replaced with kilometres or else keeping miles?

Photo, left, shows a new speed limit sign in Ireland, which came into force in January 2005. It is about time that the UK did the same.

I noticed that comments people have made at sites like http://www.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30000-1213195,00.html there is some support to retain miles, rather than "Keep the miles, it's part of our identity, keeping us separate from Europe", we should remember that it was Europe who gave us miles in the first place.
The word mile comes from the Latin word for 1000, because the Romans invented the mile and decided to make it 1000 paces of a Roman legion. Well, that equates, according to what I read, to about 1.5 km. The modern mile today is 1.6093 km, which is not much more than the Roman mile.

The point is that Europeans (Romans) forced the mile on Britain 2000 or more years ago, and now they want us to use the kilometre.

So, in the usual silly way common to so many people, British people are saying, "Don't give us European measurements on our roads, we want to keep European measurements on our roads!"
Because the mile is more European than the kilometre. It is true that the French invented the metre, but it was mostly British and American scientists who developed the metric system, and it is due to their hard work that kilometres exist the world over. Almost every country in the world uses kilometres (USA does in some places, Liberian and Myanmar (Burma) do not), and the UK does not use km on Dept of Transport signs, but kilometres can be used on private signs and local Council signs (all perfectly legal).

So I would like to say to the British people, give up a European measurement (mile) for an international measurement (kilometre).

I don't know what measurement we used on roads before the Romans, but it was not miles. Maybe the British people who are against Europe should be campaigning for us to revert back to what we had before the Romans came. Otherwise they are just being hypocritical.