National speed limit challenge - IanJohnson
Recently completed a "Speed awareness" workshop and the most surprising fact was that only 1/3 of those attending knew the NSL limits for a car.

A challenge for backroomers - without looking it up - post what you believe the speed limit is on an out of town dual carriageway and single carriageway for a car (White sign with black diagonal stripe).
National speed limit challenge - Waino
Well, I'd always thought it was 70 and 60 respectively but, presumably, I'm going to be told that I'm wrong :-(
National speed limit challenge - daveyjp
"out of town dual carriageway" ?

Makes no difference where the dual carriageway is if the sign as described indicates the limit.

70 for dual carriageways 60 on single carriageways.

Form my daily use of such a dual carriageway a number of my experiences lead me to believe what you learnt on the course and that many drivers do not have a clue what the limit is.
National speed limit challenge - BazzaBear {P}
70 and 60 here too. And I would agree, from my observations I believe that the majority of people believe the speed limit on a dual carriageway to be 60.
For that matter, one of my friends was told by their Driving Examiner that it was 60!
National speed limit challenge - Waino
And I would agree, from my observations I believe that the majority of people believe the speed limit on a dual carriageway to be 60.>>

Many people, especially on busy dual carriageways, prefer to tuck in with the HGVs in the inside lane doing 60 as the lesser of 3 evils. The alternatives being to do 70, and having to keep repeatedly changing lanes to accommodate the 90mph boys in the outer lane - or to join the 90mph boys and risk being done for speeding.
National speed limit challenge - Stuartli
The speed limits on single, dual or motorways are not written on stone.

They can be varied on any of them as desired by the authorities. The northern end of the M57, for instance, has a 50mph limit up to Switch Island for almost a mile (not that many drivers take much notice).
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National speed limit challenge - Bill Payer
The speed limits on single, dual or motorways are not written
on stone.

They are if indicated by a "White sign with black diagonal stripe" as the OP noted.

NSL applies, which so far everyone has got right.

I do think though, that a lot of people think the dual carriageway NSL is 60 - there's a couple of such roads near me with speed camera's and many drviers slow to 60 for the cameras.
National speed limit challenge - Stuartli
>>They are if indicated by a "White sign with black diagonal stripe" as the OP noted.>>

Quite correct but, even so, they can still be varied - there are quite a number of single, dual and motorway sections in my area that feature different (i.e. lower) speed limits on certain sections, usually for safety reasons.

One example that comes to mind are the M25's variable speed limits at certain times of the day.
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National speed limit challenge - yorkiebar
A lot people slow to 40 or so when they see speed cameas on dual carriagewys around here ! Proves that driver education and ability is more important than speed cameras?
National speed limit challenge - mss1tw
Surrey has a special scheme where by that sign means 40mph instead of 60mph.
National speed limit challenge - GroovyMucker
Go on, I'll bite.

What scheme?
National speed limit challenge - mss1tw
It seems to be totally voluntary. As dispensation, you are then allowed to continue at your self appointed speed of 40mph in any 30mph zones you may travel through.
National speed limit challenge - daveyjp
"Quite correct but, even so, they can still be varied - there are quite a number of single, dual and motorway sections in my area that feature different (i.e. lower) speed limits on certain sections, usually for safety reasons"

Yes they can vary, the dual I use every day reduces to a 60 limit, but their is a wopping great 60 sign and repeaters telling you of this limit (and a few cameras for good measure), similarly when it goes to 40 there is another huge sign and repeaters. As the original OP said it's the limit when the white sign with black diagonal line is displayed which drivers are ignorant of.
National speed limit challenge - Stuartli
I would hazard a guess that very few motorists would be able to correctly describe the meaning of many of our road signs...:-)
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National speed limit challenge - SjB {P}
My wife had a disagreement with a lady friend of hers a couple of years ago. Said friend always trundled along at 60MPH on NSL dual carriageways, so my wife eventually commented "Why not 70?" and got told very curtly she was wrong and that anyone doing 70 was breaking the law. The disagreement bubbled for weeks (they often travelled together) and eventually the missus Googled the proof and printed it. Her friend refused to believe the evidence, and to this day drives at 60MPH on NSL dual carriageways. I'm somewhat puzzled why the same friend also drives at a consistent 40MPH in 30MPH limits!
National speed limit challenge - Peter D
A dual carraigeway must have a solid partition between the opposite direction lanes. A painted 4 lane road under NSL is 60 it is not a dual carraigeway. A friend of mine who uses the road everyday was caught by a camera van LTI20-20 laser doing 71 mph. Regards Peter
National speed limit challenge - sierraman
This does raise the point that the NSL sign may be outdated.Perhaps it would be more straightforward to start using signs that post the limit,be it 60 or 70.It amuses me to see the NSL sign on country lanes where even a lunatic would struggle to acheive 60 on the narrow twisty bits.
National speed limit challenge - Bill Payer
This does raise the point that the NSL sign may be
outdated.Perhaps it would be more straightforward to start using signs that
post the limit,be it 60 or 70.It amuses me to see
the NSL sign on country lanes where even a lunatic would
struggle to acheive 60 on the narrow twisty bits.

NSL sign means different things to different vehicles - for example NSL for an HGV on a single carriageway road is 40MPH.

Even where a specific speed is posted (say 50MPH) then a HGV can still only do 40MPH (on the single carriageway road), but I guess the intention is that the NSL would be less confusing than posting a specific speed which then didn't apply to many road users.
National speed limit challenge - Nsar
Given our national obsession with the weather, I'm surprised we haven't adopted the French system of limts that go down in the rain - very sensible, but probably prone to the thousand shades of grey over what constitutes "rain" - just spitting a bit, that really fine rain that gets you wet, just a few spots, stair-rods or even Datsun Cogs.

National speed limit challenge - mk124
Same here 70 mph for dual, 60 mph for single roads. When I first started I me and my dad thought the sign meant 50 mph!
One good things about the NSL signs is that if you have a road that alternates between single and dual carrageway you don't need to keep on putting up signs showing diffrent speed limits. The amount of money this saves is likely to be small, so why don't they just post speed limits, since driver education is not adequate when it comes to knowing what the NSL signs actually mean.

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Torque means nothing without RPM
National speed limit challenge - mk124
Just read bill Payers post - A BIG advantage of the NSL sign!

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Torque means nothing without RPM
National speed limit challenge - L'escargot
I do think though, that a lot of people think the
dual carriageway NSL is 60 - there's a couple of such
roads near me with speed camera's and many drviers slow to
60 for the cameras.


Same thing happens on the A46 Lincoln bypass. Quite irritating when you're behind them.
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L\'escargot.
National speed limit challenge - Mad Maxy
I have to smile when I'm on, say, a country B-road that's limited to 50 mph (mainly just cos it's busy) and I see little narrow lanes leading off that - of course - are marked with the NSL signs. Crazy.

Also, it seems to be the policy that speed limits are at least partially dictated by volume of traffic rather than density of hazards. Is this on the basis that frequency of accidents means the need to limit speed? But if there's traffic there will be crashes etc. (Zero traffic means zero incidents.) And the faster vehicles tavel, the more serious those incidents are likely to be. Best thing would be for us all to travel around at, say, 15 mph.
National speed limit challenge - Cliff Pope
Best thing would be for us all to travel around
at, say, 15 mph.


No, there were road accidents back in stage coach days. Two coaches would race neck and neck, each trying to gain a fraction of a mph. They were speed-limited by the horses, you see. Sound familiar?
National speed limit challenge - Bromptonaut
70 on motorways, 60 on duals and 50 on singles rings a distant bell. Something imposed between the national 50 during the 73 fuel crisis and a much later outbreak of common sense?

National speed limit challenge - Ruperts Trooper
Was it ever 70 on motorways, 60 on dual and 50 on singles? It certainly isn't now!

In the '60s there were some experimental 50 limits on holiday route single carriageways but not subsequently introduced widely.

The '73 fuel crisis "limits" were only advisory.
National speed limit challenge - Lud
As fast as comfortably and safely possible, everywhere. This is very seldom below the posted limits. Watch out for silly speed cameras.
National speed limit challenge - Muggy
My favourite NSL diagonal stripe sign in in Tintagel, Cornwall.

If you are going to the Camelot Castle Hotel, you have to pass through Tintagel village, which is correctly signposted 30mph. When you reach the far end of the village, you get an NSL sign. The only problem is that only a few feet after that you come to the hotel gates, hotel car park and then the sea [ down a steep cliff for good measure! ].

Unfortunately I never thought to take a photograph of it, but no doubt someone on here will have a picture?
National speed limit challenge - Peter C
I remember the good old days when the white sign with black diagonal meant derestricted - go as fast as you wanted but safely of course. Sadly my Mini could hardly go above 70. Now I have over 200 bhp available with good brakes and tyres and I have to drive it slower than my old Mini.They were the good old days!
National speed limit challenge - scc
There is a section of the east bound A30 just after Bodmin Moor which is a divided DC and hence has a speed limit of 70mph.
However situated at the bottom of a hill is a junction at which the separation of the DC is broken; there is also a gatso placed here. Most people (including self) slow down to 60 to be on the safe side but there is no different limit posted, so is it still 70mph at this point? Something I've often pondered but with the gatso there never chanced my arm.
National speed limit challenge - L'escargot
I remember the good old days when the white sign with
black diagonal meant derestricted


Yep, there was only one limit and that was 30 mph in and close to the town centre. Lots of built-up areas going into/out of towns were unrestricted.
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L\'escargot.
National speed limit challenge - IanJohnson
Met a guy in South Africa in 1980 who had been over here in the sixties. Claims to have driven from London to Sheffield in an ex Le Mans Porche (don't remember which but only a cushion for a passenger seat) at up to 170 when the M1 was de-restricted.

His next comment was that every policeman he saw just waved!

These days you would not see any police!
National speed limit challenge - L'escargot
Met a guy in South Africa in 1980 who had been
over here in the sixties. Claims to have driven from
London to Sheffield in an ex Le Mans Porche (don't remember
which but only a cushion for a passenger seat) at up
to 170 when the M1 was de-restricted.


Desmond "Dizzy" Addicott was reputed to have exceeded 200 mph on the M1 in the 60s. tinyurl.com/y4x829
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L\'escargot.
National speed limit challenge - Waino
Ah - IJ's back! C'mon then, what's the answer to the question posed in your original post, we're all dying to know ;-)
National speed limit challenge - IanJohnson
The idea of the post was to see if backroomer's were better informed than the cross section of society on the course (1/3 female, 1/15 French, 1 over 70, 1 under 30). I was in the third that knew!

Very few took the challenge so we still don't know if we are.

The answer is at www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.htm#103 if you need to look it up.
 

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