Congrats to Heather.


Well done heather passed first time with 4 faults great drive stay safe and have fun..

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History of speed limits..

Current UK speed limits explained, as well as their history and use

UK speed limits are a bone of contention with many drivers, but they are a vital part of the UK’s road network. They are the front line of road safety, as they dictate the speed of all traffic, and by setting maximum speeds for different types of road, it means consistent regulation across the country. It also means it's easier to prosecute those that exceed the speed limit, whether it's by police enforcement, or via the use of technology.

While the use of speed limits is an issue that can be discussed until the cows come home, speed limits are there, and a safe driver will know that they are in place for a reason, so will adjust their driving accordingly. To help you stick to these basic laws of the road, we've compiled this feature to help you stay on the right side of the limit, even if you're driving a vehicle that requires you to know a different set of limits to the ones posted.

Speed awareness courses: everything you need to know
If you've passed your driving test, then the round speed limit signs will be some of the first pieces of road furniture that you will need to be able to identify. They are unique, with a white circle surrounded in red with black numbers within. These cover 20mph, 30mph, 40mph, 50mph and sometimes 60mph. In addition, there's the National Speed Limit sign, which is a white circle with a black diagonal line through it. This means the national limit applies, which is 60mph on single carriageway roads, and 70mph on dual carriageways.

However, as time passes, many drivers that simply use their cars to get from A to B without any involvement could even forget what the assorted limits are. To make matters worse, speed limits can be changed on roads without much in the way of notification, then there are other limits you need to be aware of, such as variable limits on smart motorways, or reduced speeds when roadworks are put in place.

Speed limits for vans: the differences explained
When you're behind the wheel of a vehicle other than a conventional car, or if you're using your car to tow a caravan or trailer, then the speed limit that's posted at the roadside won't necessarily apply. These limits could be difficult to work out, but they will definitely be lower than the posted maximum you see on road signs. They will vary depending on the type of vehicle you're driving, too and when you add-in regional variations between Scotand and England and Wales, then it's easy to be confused about which speed limit is the right one for you to stick to.

Image 3 of 520mph school speed limit
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Current UK speed limits by road and vehicle type
Below are the UK national speed limits as they currently stand. We've listed each type of vehicle class and the maximum speeds permitted on each type of road for that class.

UK speed limits for cars, motorbikes, and car-derived vans weighing up to two tonnes fully laden:

• Restricted road: 30mph
• Single carriageway: 60mph
• Dual carriageway: 70mph
• Motorway: 70mph
UK speed limits for a car* with a trailer:

• Restricted road: 30mph
• Single carriageway: 50mph
• Dual carriageway: 60mph
• Motorway: 60mph
(*Including motorbikes towing a trailer, or vans towing a trailer)

UK speed limits for buses, coaches and minibuses up to 12 metres long and goods vehicles weighing up to 7.5 tonnes:

• Restricted road: 30mph
• Single carriageway: 50mph
• Dual carriageway: 60mph
• Motorway: 70mph
UK speed limits for goods vehicles over 7.5 tonnes in England and Wales:

• Restricted road: 30mph
• Single carriageway: 50mph
• Dual carriageway: 60mph
• Motorway: 60mph
UK speed limits for goods vehicles over 7.5 tonnes in Scotland:

• Restricted road: 30mph
• Single carriageway: 40mph
• Dual carriageway: 50mph
• Motorway: 60mph

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What are restricted roads, motorways and dual carriageways?
A restricted road is the technical name for roads that are in built up areas. In these busy situations, it can sometimes be difficult to work out the speed limit is. However, if you can't see any speed limit signs, then a good rule of thumb to follow is that if there are buildings and street lights lining the road, then the speed limit is 30mph. However, if the posted speed limit is higher than 30mph, then the different zone will be signified by the standard circular speed limit signs at the start of the zone, then smaller repeater signs will be placed on lamp posts or individual posts at regular intervals within the zone.

If the road doesn't have a physical divider between the two opposing streams of traffic then this is a singe carriageway road. They can be formed of any number of variations from a single lane country road with passing places to a wide five-lane road with something called a tidal flow for the centre lane, which is designed to operate in both directions to ease traffic congestion at peak times.

The other highway variant is the dual carriageway. These use a divider - either a grass verge or something more substantial, such as metal armco or concrete barriers. In very rare circumstances (often at the start of a multi-lane road) they can have single lanes in both directions, but more often they will have at least two lanes for each direction of traffic. Motorways are an evolution of the dual carriageway, and due to their higher speeds there are restrictions on the type of vehicles that can use them, with the slowest road users banned from them.

Image 4 of 5Police speed trap
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Other speed limits
We've listed the national speed limits above, but local authorities are able to impose different speed limits where they see fit. Usually this is to slow traffic on roads where the 60mph national speed limit would normally apply, although there is also the ability to add 20mph zones in urban areas. And on rare occasions the speed limit has been raised on a road in an effort to improve traffic flow.

These different speed limits are only ever lowered in increments of 10mph, and when they're 50mph or lower, there are no reduced limits for different classes of vehicle - the speed limit you see posted is the one you must not exceed.

Minimum speed limits
On even rarer occasions, you may see a round, blue road sign with a number in it. This is the minimum speed limit posted for a road. These limits are usually found in tunnels, where stationary or slow-moving traffic can be considered a trafic and pollution hazard to the free-flow of traffic through a tunnel. However, some would say that posting a minimum speed limit on regular roads could have a beneficial effect by imrpoving the flow of traffic in general.

Speed limiters
While vans, goods vehicles, buses, coaches and minibuses have different limits to adhere to, many of these are becoming redundant, because commercial vehicles in certain classes are now required to have a speed limiter fitted as standard. Below is a list of the classes that need speed limiters, and the maximum speed they must be set to.

• Buses, coaches and minibuses: 62mph
• HGVs: 56mph or 53mph (depending on class)
• Mopeds: 28mph
If you're a car driver, these limits are worth bearing in mind, because if you're travelling slower than this for no particular reason, your slower pace could hold up these vehicles. And if they decide to try and overtake you on a dual carriageway, then this could cause tailbacks and delay behind as they try and overtake you while not being able to go any faster than these speeds.

If you see a van or other service vehicle with a sticker on the back proclaiming the vehicle is limited to a certain speed, this vehicle has been fitted with a speed limiter voluntarily, so that the fleet operators can help to keep costs in check.

UK speed limit history
At the dawn of the motor vehicle, towards the end of the 19th Century, the first 'horseless carriages' were considered as self-propelled locomotives - much like the large, heavy traction engines that started to appear in the 1850s. Pedestrians, cyclists and horses dominated the highways in those days, and these new 'locomotives' had to stick to already established speed limits for traction engines, so they didn't pose a threat to other road users.

That meant cars were restricted to 10mph by an 1860 law, although this dropped to 4mph in the country and 2mph in town with the introduction of the 1865 Red Flag Act. The Red Flag Act also meant that all vehicles should be escorted by a person walking 50 metres ahead to warn other road users of the imminent arrival of the horseless carriage. Another act in 1878 saw the flag removed and the escort placed only 20 metres ahead, but it wasn't until 1896 that this requirement was lifted. This landmark in car history is celebrated to this day by the London-Brighton veteran car run.

Image 5 of 5Speed cameras variable speed
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The limit was raised to 14mph with this act, and then it was raised again in 1903 to 20mph. Then on 1 January 1931, speed limits were abolished completely. The government of the time deemed that the limit was held in such low regard that it wasn't worth bothering with, especially as many cars of the time didn't come with a working speedometer, while speed limit enforcement wasn't even a consideration for the constabularies of the time.

Some semblance of order was restored in 1934, when Minister of Transport Leslie Hore-Belisha (the beacon man) introduced a trial 30mph limit for built up areas, the definition of which was anywhere with street lighting.

Speedometers were made compulsory on cars from 1937, while the outbreak of World War 2 saw a 20mph limit introduced at night, to help reduce casualties during the blackouts.

• What is the UK drink drive limit?

The 30mph limit became permanent in 1956, while in 1958 a raised 40mph limit was set in place to improve traffic flow. The next big changes came in the mid-1960s. A number of fatal accidents on foggy motorways saw an advisory 20mph limit introduced for fog, while a 70mph limit was experimented with for the winter months. The fog advisory later changed to 30mph, while the 70mph limit was put in place on a trial basis at the end of 1965. It became permanent in 1967, and the maximum 60mph limit for single carriageways was also introduced.

In December 1973, the oil crisis saw the national speed limit temporarily dropped to 50mph to save fuel, and while lower limits were in place for a couple of years, the standard limits were back in place by 1977. The 1984 Road Traffic Act is the legislation that currently enforces all speed limits, while the last set of changes in regulation occurred in 2015, when the limits for large HGVs on single and dual carriageways were raised to 50mph and 60mph respectively.

Speed limit enforcement
Speed limit enforcement is carried out by the police and fixed speed cameras, both of which can issue penalties for speeding, while local speed watch groups and vehicle activated signs are passive speed awareness devices.

• How to appeal a speeding fine

UK speeding penalties

Below is a list of speed limits and the kind of penalty you can expect, depending on how much faster than the posted maximum you have gone:

Speed limit Fixed penalty or speed awareness course over: Court summons over:
20mph 24mph 35mph
30mph 35mph 50mph
40mph 46mph 66mph
50mph 57mph 76mph
60mph 68mph 86mph
70mph 79mph 96mph
If you earn more than six penalty points within 24 months of passing your test, your licence will be revoked and you'll have to go through the whope driving test again.

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Driving tests

As driving instructors we can only advise people about their readiness to take a test!
You may think you are driving well when the instructor is:
Telling you when to change gear!
Asking you what the speed limit is!
Talking you through every manoeuvre!
Telling you which lane to be in!
Reminding you which exit to come off of on a roundabout because you forget!
Helping you when you can’t workout if there is enough space for you to get your car through!
If all or any of the above apply to you, then you are not test ready!
When the door shuts and it’s just you and the examiner, the car is the loneliest place to be, when you make a mistake and your brain goes to mush it’s the worst feeling ever!
Remember those family and friends who urge you to just have a go for the experience, aren’t the ones having to go through it, people have very selective memory’s when it comes to driving and tests!
Ask anyone who has failed a test if it was a nice experience!
Remember it’s YOU doing the test, no one else, no phone to google answers, no help from anyone else just YOU!
If you are up to standard, you will still be nervous, but you won’t be doubtful of your ability!
Go look in the mirror and have a straight talk with yourself!
Would you take an A level if you hadn’t studied enough and then expect to pass it?

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Vertical Gardens pollution solutions

MEXICO CITY — “We must cultivate our garden,” Voltaire famously wrote at the end of “Candide,” but even he could not have imagined this: a towering arch of 50,000 plants rising over a traffic-clogged avenue in a metropolis once called “Mexsicko City” because of its pollution.

The vertical garden aims to scrub away both the filth and the image. One of three eco-sculptures installed across the city by a nonprofit called VerdMX, the arch is both art and oxygenator. It catches the eye. And it also helps clean the air.

“The main priority for vertical gardens is to transform the city,” said Fernando Ortiz Monasterio, 30, the architect who designed the sculptures. “It’s a way to intervene in the environment.”

Many cities have green reputations — Portland, Ore., even has its own vertical gardens. But in the developing world, where middle classes are growing along with consumption, waste and energy use, Mexico City is a brave new world. The laughingstock has become the leader as the air has gone from legendarily bad to much improved. Ozone levels and other pollution measures now place it on roughly the same level as the (also cleaner) air above Los Angeles.

“Both L.A. and Mexico City have improved but in Mexico City, the change has been a lot more,” said Luisa Molina, a research scientist with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who has done extensive pollution comparisons. Mexico “is very advanced not just in terms of Latin America, but around the world. When I go to China, they all want to hear the story of Mexico.”

Photo

A vertical garden at the Restaurant Padrinos in Mexico City is part of a wider effort to improve the city’s notoriously bad air. Credit Rodrigo Cruz for The New York Times
Partly, it is policy. Starting in the 1980s, Mexico’s government created mandates that reformulated gasoline, closed or moved toxic factories, and banned most drivers from using their cars one day a week. More recently, Mexico City added a popular free bicycle loan program and expanded public transportation systems.

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Environmentalists are far less impressed with double-decker highways still under construction. But even the most optimistic Mexicans have never expected government to create “the best of all possible worlds,” to quote the character Pangloss in “Candide,” so many here prefer to rave about citizen-driven, cooperative efforts like VerdMX.

Mexico City has become an incubator for these kinds of groups, which mix corporate financing with new ideas. Some say the activity stems from the tangible nature of the problem; bad pollution is felt in the scratchy throats of all. But regardless, among the young, hip and educated — those opening new boutiques for modern Mexican design, and partying at the Vive Latino music festival — there is a growing civic consciousness.

Part of this can be seen in the capital’s vibrant art scene, where environmental concerns often overlap with creative expression. Indeed, a version of the about-to-burst potential that once characterized Paris or New York in, say, the 1920s, seems to have arrived in “new world” megacities like this one, but with a twist. The Machine Age of the early 20th century has given way, for some, to the Green Age of the early 21st.

There are young architects here looking to tear up roads and revive ancient rivers. There are young women teaching old women how to plant tomatoes in the grass between high-rises; artists turning ocean trash into gorgeous, consumer criticism; and even a crowd-sourced multimedia campaign with visions for “Mexico of the Future” — which includes submissions such as “a solar panel on every house” and “respect for flora and fauna.”

VerdMX’s giant green sculptures — which are part of a broader vertical and roof garden movement — fit right in. In the normal day-to-day commute, however, the gardens show how far Mexico City still has to go.

Photo

The eco-sculptures were installed across Mexico City by a nonprofit called VerdMX. Credit Rodrigo Cruz for The New York Times
The most stunning vertical garden so far hovers over Chapultepec Avenue at an intersection typically chocked with buses, cars and taxis. On a recent morning, drivers appeared to speed through the installation without noticing the plants, which looked downright crippled. Their leaves were as limp as a dead rose’s petals. Only the lucky ones facing south, toward a quieter street, away from idling buses, seemed to be growing at a normal rate.

“The plants are distressed by all the traffic,” said Gabriela Rodríguez, director of VerdMX. Still, she said, they were chosen for their hardiness, and they were going to survive, at least for the year the sculpture is scheduled to remain.

The project’s main challenge seems to have been cultural. Ms. Rodríguez, a graphic designer with ink-black hair, a deep voice and a taste for shades of pink, said finding the resources and getting the government permissions took years. She said Nissan, a corporate sponsor, needed to be convinced that it would get the credit it deserved. (The company introduced its Leaf electric car here last year.) And the government needed to be convinced that the garden would work as a living monument.

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“Mexico is still a place with a very conservative culture,” said Mr. Ortiz, the architect. “When I would tell people about this, they’d always say: ‘It’s impossible. You’re crazy.’ ”

That pretty much captured one strain of thought among those who pass the sculpture every day. “Sure, it looks nice but what good does it do?” said Rosendo Hernández, 58, a newspaper salesman at the intersection.

Others dismissed the garden as a waste of money. One man walking by said that while Mexicans love art, an upside-down U full of plants cannot compare with a Diego Rivera mural.

Maybe it does not need to, though. Mr. Hernández said many residents like the sculpture enough to take pictures of it, and Riberto Pineda, 17, who washes car windows at the stop light beside it, said he has grown to love the tall garden for two simple reasons: “It’s pretty,” he said. “And it’s great for shade.”

Correction: April 19, 2012
The Mexico City Journal article on April 10, about a towering vertical garden, one of three eco-sculptures installed across the city to be both art and oxygenator, misstated the role of carbon dioxide in urban pollution. Ground-level ozone forms from the interaction, in the presence of sunlight, of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds; it does not form from carbon dioxide.

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New drivers could do 2 driving tests...

The Government is exploring a potential Graduated Driving Licence, which would see new drivers under the age of 24 facing serious restrictions. For two years after passing the driving test, they would:

• Not be able to drive after dark or drive cars with larger engines

• Not be able to drink alcohol before driving because of a lowered drink drive limit

• Have to take another test at the end of the two-year probation period.

The proposals are part of a push to tackle the number of deaths that occur on UK roads each year with 17-24 year-olds responsible for a quarter of all accidents that lead to death or serious injury.

The Prime Minister has stated that, “there are too many people who suffer a loss and tragedy at the hands of learner drivers and we will look at that”. While we suspect she means new drivers, not learner drivers who are supervised by a professional instructor or suitable adult, the Graduated Driving Licence still has serious ramifications for drivers who have just qualified.

But could there be a silver lining if the Graduated Driver Licensing proposal is given the green light? New drivers currently spend up to 10% of their earnings keeping their car insured but experts believe that the new style license could drive down insurance costs.

The idea behind these new plans is clear, and these measures should result in safer roads for all. While it may initially feel like a harsh restriction for new drivers, it’s worth considering that these limitations on their licenses should reduce their insurance risk profiles, which could ultimately see the cost of their insurance reduce significantly.”
– Simon McCulloch, comparethemarket.com

The idea of a Graduated Driving Licensing system isn’t as outlandish as it might first seem either and would actually bring the UK in line with other countries such as the USA, Australia and New Zealand where drivers are unable to drive at night or drive with passengers who are under the age 25 unless there is someone older supervising. And according to Brake, the road safety charity, the changes can’t come soon enough.

“Young and novice drivers are involved in a disproportionate number of road crashes and the introduction of a comprehensive Graduated Driver Licensing system is critical to reverse this trend,” said a spokesperson for the charity. “Brake is calling upon the Government to bring the UK’s licensing system in line with best practice worldwide, requiring a minimum of 10 hours professional tuition for learner drivers and introducing a novice license, with restrictions in place for two years after passing the practical driving test.”

With the new driving test plus stricter penalties for mobile use when driving, it’s clear that the Government is determined to cut road deaths on UK roads – the question is are the new proposals going too far?

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Well done to Fergus..

Well done Fergus Morgan on passing your manual driving test, 4 years after your automatic one. Enjoy your new Polo!

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Another test pass with Uplands..

A huge big congratulations to Anum who passed this morning with Nehar at Uplands. At Swansea MPTC.

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