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EU’s new railway rules could cause miles of trouble


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Jill_Seymour.jpegUKIP Transport spokesman Jill Seymour has condemned the European Union for ordering Britain’s railway network to go metric.

She said the ‘totally unnecessary’ move would cost a fortune, cause chaos, and could even lead to accidents.

"Here we go again with another bureaucratic directive, interfering with our rail network."

“The EU wants all metric signage, which the rail unions have already described as possible causing a safety issue.

“Financial pressure on British rail companies is already forcing ticket prices up above inflation, hitting all passengers in the pocket.

“These ill considered and unnecessary plans can only make the pressure worse.”

If the orders from EU bureaucrats are carried out, miles and yards will disappear from official signs along the trackside and have to be translated into kilometres and metres.

Mrs Seymour said: “The UK is clear that distance signs must be in miles, not kilometres; there is no reason for any change in that, other than the EU flexing its muscles.”

“There are more than 10,000 miles of rail track in Britain, and drivers are accustomed to calculating speeds in the imperial system.

“No wonder train drivers’ union Aslef has described the plans as an ‘unacceptable safety risk’ which could cause catastrophic confusion.”

The directive to replace trackside mile markers with kilometre signs, and rewrite training manuals to remove imperial measures, comes from the European Railway Agency, an EU quango which is based in France.

The Department for Transport asked Brussels for an opt-out from the metrication directive three years ago, but the request was turned down.

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