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Motorway variable speed limits
Tsst
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 09:10
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Hi,



Last night I was traveling on M25 and the gantry I was heading to was displaying a restricted speed limit of 50 mph. The next gantry displayed 40 mph. However the following 2 gantries were blank ( no speed restriction limit displayed ) and the 3rd gantry following that displayed the "National Speed Limit" sign.



If there is no speed restriction displayed on a particular gantry following a gantry which displays a speed restriction does it mean that there is no restriction anymore ( which is 70 MPH )? As I understand there should be a derestriction sign displayed specifically to inform the motorists that the speed limit restriction has ended but this does not always seem to be the case.



I have drawn a diagram to better explain the query that I have. When passing under gantries 3 and 4 what should the speed limit be?





GANTRY 1: 50 MPH displayed -----> GANTRY 2: 40 MPH displayed ------> GANTRY 3: BLANK ------> GANTRY 4: BLANK -----> GANTRY 5: NATIONAL SPEED LIMIT displayed



Regards
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post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 09:10
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Jlc
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 09:26
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A blank gantry means the previously displayed limit applies. So 40mph.

Upon passing the NSL, 70mph applies (subject to specific vehicle restrictions).

This post has been edited by Jlc: Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 09:28


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Tsst
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 09:43
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If a motorist enters the motorway at gantry 3 how will they know that a speed restriction is in place? .
And why is the gantry left blank instead of repeating the speed limit?

I ask this question because I have seen scenarious where the NSL sign is never displayed after a series of speed restrictions
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BaggieBoy
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 09:55
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QUOTE (Tsst @ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 10:43) *
If a motorist enters the motorway at gantry 3 how will they know that a speed restriction is in place? .

Was there a junction after gantry 2? If not then the question is moot.
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Jlc
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 10:00
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QUOTE (Tsst @ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 10:43) *
If a motorist enters the motorway at gantry 3 how will they know that a speed restriction is in place? .

A blank sign has no meaning. So if there was an entry point at gantry 3 then the limit they are currently in still applies. (Which hopefully shouldn't contradict with gantry 2...)

QUOTE (Tsst @ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 10:43) *
And why is the gantry left blank instead of repeating the speed limit?
I ask this question because I have seen scenarious where the NSL sign is never displayed after a series of speed restrictions

It's a good question - it depends on the distances between the signs. Repeaters are required to 'override' the NSL limit.

It terms of spacing it used to be clearly defined in the TSGRD but was updated in 2016 and the signs simply need to be sufficient to convey the limit - so there's some subjectivity...

So if a NSL is not explicitly displayed (it happens) then you have to judge when it's sensible to return to NSL speeds. (This may be by way of 'End of variable limit' signs for example)

This post has been edited by Jlc: Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 10:01


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RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
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Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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Lodesman
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 10:05
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I have a certain sympathy here as, on the M25 in the small hours, I have, on a number of occasions, seen the gantries displaying 60-50-40 and then nothing at all.

I have continued at the lower speed for some time, only speeding up when I see that other drivers with less patience are racing past me and not being flashed when passing under subsequent gantries.

Definitely no NSL signs ever displayed on these occasions.

(Needless to say, there are never any obvious signs as to why the speed reductions were there in the first place).
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Lodesman
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 10:15
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By the way, has anyone else noticed the latest wheeze on the M25 driving between the M23 and the M25/M26 split ?

When the traffic is becoming busy up comes a "obstruction reported" sign and speed reduction requirement. Strangely, each time i have seen it the NSL signs are displayed at the M25/M26 split.

Of course, there is never any sign of any obstruction.

What, me becoming paranoid ? Never. Cynical maybe.
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notmeatloaf
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 10:23
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What section of the M25 was it? Each section has different pieces of legislation and IIRC at least some say blank sign = NSL.

Either way the cameras are meant to be disabled if no limit is displayed so people treat the blank signs as NSL and outside of a tech failure it should be safe.


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Lodesman
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 10:26
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QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 11:23) *
What section of the M25 was it? Each section has different pieces of legislation and IIRC at least some say blank sign = NSL.

Either way the cameras are meant to be disabled if no limit is displayed so people treat the blank signs as NSL and outside of a tech failure it should be safe.


In my case, between accessing the M25 from the M26 and Cobham Services.
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notmeatloaf
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 10:34
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QUOTE
(4) For the purposes of this regulation a speed limit sign is to be taken as not indicating any speed limit if, ten seconds before the vehicle passed it, the sign had indicated no speed limit or that the national speed limit was in force.


http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/2397/made

So I was right, blank sign = NSL. Although the wording is poor, "not indicating any speed limit" implies that the NSL limit is not in force either and the road is entirely derestricted, as is permitted on special roads. Would be a fun one to test in court if you had a lot of money.

This post has been edited by notmeatloaf: Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 10:37


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Jlc
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 10:46
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QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 11:34) *
blank sign = NSL.

That doesn't conflate for me...


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PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
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Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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notmeatloaf
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 11:20
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Yes but on advice threads we tend to stick to the legal facts rather than what people think the law should be.


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666
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 11:28
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QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 11:34) *
QUOTE
(4) For the purposes of this regulation a speed limit sign is to be taken as not indicating any speed limit if, ten seconds before the vehicle passed it, the sign had indicated no speed limit or that the national speed limit was in force.


http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/2397/made

So I was right, blank sign = NSL. Although the wording is poor, "not indicating any speed limit" implies that the NSL limit is not in force either and the road is entirely derestricted, as is permitted on special roads. Would be a fun one to test in court if you had a lot of money.


I believe your interpretation is mistaken. A gantry may be "not indicating any speed limit", but there appears nothing to suggest that the limit indicated by the previous sign is not still in force.


QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 11:23) *
What section of the M25 was it? Each section has different pieces of legislation and IIRC at least some say blank sign = NSL.

Either way the cameras are meant to be disabled if no limit is displayed so people treat the blank signs as NSL and outside of a tech failure it should be safe.


What makes you think the cameras should be disabled? We have seen many cases where people have been nicked for exceeding the NSL.
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The Slithy Tove
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 11:44
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QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 11:34) *
QUOTE
(4) For the purposes of this regulation a speed limit sign is to be taken as not indicating any speed limit if, ten seconds before the vehicle passed it, the sign had indicated no speed limit or that the national speed limit was in force.


http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/2397/made

So I was right, blank sign = NSL. Although the wording is poor, "not indicating any speed limit" implies that the NSL limit is not in force either and the road is entirely derestricted, as is permitted on special roads.

The wording is definitely unclear. There is a "that" in the sentence which makes it not parse correctly, no matter how you try to break it up into its constituent clauses. And it's saying. "a speed limit sign is to be taken as not indicating any speed limit if ... the sign had indicated no speed limit." Which is saying a sign doesn't indicate a speed limit if it isn't showing a speed limit - kind of pointless saying it really. What it does not say is that "no limit displayed" MEANS there is no speed limit, because we all know there is always a speed limit.

This post has been edited by The Slithy Tove: Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 11:44
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The Rookie
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 11:57
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QUOTE (666 @ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 12:28) *
QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 11:23) *


Either way the cameras are meant to be disabled if no limit is displayed so people treat the blank signs as NSL and outside of a tech failure it should be safe.


What makes you think the cameras should be disabled? We have seen many cases where people have been nicked for exceeding the NSL.

I presume he meant to say 'no lower limit' is displayed, the cameras of course monitor when the NSL applies (although arguably nothing displayed could be equated to NSL is displayed if you are already in an NSL).


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notmeatloaf
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 12:08
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Of course it must mean that a blank sign means that the previous limit is lifted - "not indicating any speed limit".

Otherwise it is also saying that a displayed NSL also has no meaning, and that the previous limit remains in force.

It is indeed poorly worded, but the intention is clearly that a blank sign and a NSL sign both indicate the end of a VSL.

And yes, by not enforcing I meant that if you pass a limited gantry, then a subsequent blank gantry, the VSL limit will not be enforced at that gantry. NSL may be, although as I said I think the legislation is ambiguous.

This post has been edited by notmeatloaf: Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 12:10


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The Rookie
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 12:11
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I think 2 says you are wrong

QUOTE
2) A section of a road is subject to a variable speed limit in relation to a vehicle being driven along it if—

(a)the road is specified in the Schedule;
(b)the vehicle has passed a speed limit sign; and
©the vehicle has not subsequently passed—
(i)another speed limit sign indicating a different speed limit; or
(ii)a traffic sign which indicates that the national speed limit is in force.

A lack of a sign is neither a sign indicating a different limit nor one that indicates the NSL is in force.


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There is no such thing as a law abiding motorist, just those who have been scammed and those yet to be scammed!

S172's
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Council PCN's
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Rookies 1-0 Birmingham

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southpaw82
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 12:15
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QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 12:20) *
Yes but on advice threads we tend to stick to the legal facts rather than what people think the law should be.

Which is exactly what you’re doing, absent any binding precedent on the point. “What we think the law should be” is often known as an “opinion”, the quality of which varies, normally depending on the knowledge and skills of the person holding it. To castigate someone over what is, ultimately, only your unqualified opinion (unless I missed the part where you’re a qualified lawyer) is a little harsh.

You may be right in your opinion. You may also be wrong, as a court may look at the intention and avoid creating an absurd result and declare that a single unlit gantry doesn’t alter the previously displayed limit (on a prior gantry) at all.


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Tsst
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 12:33
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 13:11) *
I think 2 says you are wrong

QUOTE
2) A section of a road is subject to a variable speed limit in relation to a vehicle being driven along it if—

(a)the road is specified in the Schedule;
(b)the vehicle has passed a speed limit sign; and
©the vehicle has not subsequently passed—
(i)another speed limit sign indicating a different speed limit; or
(ii)a traffic sign which indicates that the national speed limit is in force.

A lack of a sign is neither a sign indicating a different limit nor one that indicates the NSL is in force.


If this is the case the camera on an unlit gantry following a gantry with a speed limit should be aware of the speed limit in force as it falls under “variable zone”
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notmeatloaf
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 12:33
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 13:11) *
I think 2 says you are wrong

QUOTE
2) A section of a road is subject to a variable speed limit in relation to a vehicle being driven along it if—

(a)the road is specified in the Schedule;
(b)the vehicle has passed a speed limit sign; and
©the vehicle has not subsequently passed—
(i)another speed limit sign indicating a different speed limit; or
(ii)a traffic sign which indicates that the national speed limit is in force.

A lack of a sign is neither a sign indicating a different limit nor one that indicates the NSL is in force.

But (4) specifically says that a blank sign indicates no limit - a positive indication, not a passive one.

Hence it meets the requirements of (i) - a speed limit sign indicating a different limit - in this case no limit.

And then (4) goes on to say that a blank sign has the same meaning as an NSL sign - as not indicating any limit.

The only logical way to read it is that a blank sign indicates (at least) NSL, otherwise NSL signs cannot possibly have any meaning.


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My username is notmeatloaf because I'm not made of meat loaf. I hope that clarifies things.
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