Mar 14, 2005
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Why is it that, where speed limits allow, on large open single carriageway trunk roads (eg A361 Barnstaple-Tiverton link road) we vanners are limited to 50mph, where 60mph can safely and easily be maintained? All we do is alienate other road users (it's not always possible to pull over and let them pass) who then drive far too close to the back of your van and get very impatient. Can someone please explain? Also, how can a well matched outfit travel safely in France at 70-80mph quite legally, and then become a death trap as soon as it returns to the UK? By well matched I mean a car/caravan weight ratio of 150% car:caravan. Comments please.
 
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Hello Mike,

I fear you are making the assumption that our speed limits are set to prevent unsafe speeds fro vehicles. As your question states, the limits change depending on where you are, so that defeats that perception.

Speed limits are set by burocrates and whilst vehicle safety may be one consideration there are many other criteria not related to vehicles but usually more to do with the surroundings.

I would agree that 60 on motorways and only 50 elswhere is silly, but thats the way it is. Good Old UK.
 
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Mike, you asked for comments so here goes. Speed limits are set arbitarily and the national speed limit (NSL) has been set by the government at 50mph on single carriageways when towing. This is not just for caravans but for any towed trailer. 80mph isn't neccessarily dangerous for a modern car on a motorway when road conditions are suitable but it is against the law. That just the way it is.

Incedentally I am not sure that all those vans you see in France doing 80 mph are doing it legally. Are you sure their tyres are rated for those speeds with the weights they are carrying? The same applies to camping trailers, I see many blow outs after they have been travelling at high speeds.
 
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Mike, you asked for comments so here goes. Speed limits are set arbitarily and the national speed limit (NSL) has been set by the government at 50mph on single carriageways when towing. This is not just for caravans but for any towed trailer. 80mph isn't neccessarily dangerous for a modern car on a motorway when road conditions are suitable but it is against the law. That just the way it is.

Incedentally I am not sure that all those vans you see in France doing 80 mph are doing it legally. Are you sure their tyres are rated for those speeds with the weights they are carrying? The same applies to camping trailers, I see many blow outs after they have been travelling at high speeds.
Fair point Ray - my question was a little rhetorical and assumed that at higher speeds people were legal in every aspect, but you're absolutely correct in your inference - just how many DO check their van's tyres for both speed rating and pressure?
 
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Hello Mike,

I fear you are making the assumption that our speed limits are set to prevent unsafe speeds fro vehicles. As your question states, the limits change depending on where you are, so that defeats that perception.

Speed limits are set by burocrates and whilst vehicle safety may be one consideration there are many other criteria not related to vehicles but usually more to do with the surroundings.

I would agree that 60 on motorways and only 50 elswhere is silly, but thats the way it is. Good Old UK.
JohnL thanks for your response. No I'm not making any perceptions or assumptions about our idiotic traffic/speed laws - I just don't get the logic behind the present archaic system and weird rules imposed upon us.
 
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Fair point Ray - my question was a little rhetorical and assumed that at higher speeds people were legal in every aspect, but you're absolutely correct in your inference - just how many DO check their van's tyres for both speed rating and pressure?
Mike, come to Dorset. You'll be lucky to be able to do more than 50mph anywhere in the county , towing or otherewise, if the current trend of lowering limits carries on.
 
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Ray has got a good point. The fact that the French allow 130kph on their motorways does not necessarily mean that the caravans are technically suitable to be town at that speed.
 
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The French have the countdown system which I like very much.

On downhill/windy stretches they have car/caravan symbol with 120, 100, 80 kph followed by the deristriction sign at the bottom of the hill
 
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Mike, come to Dorset. You'll be lucky to be able to do more than 50mph anywhere in the county , towing or otherewise, if the current trend of lowering limits carries on.
Ray - we frequently do, as we live in North Devon and Dorset is an easy 60-70 miles from us. You're quite correct, solo driving is no faster than towing due to the infestation of speed cameras, and very low limits, bit still, somebody's got to pay the Exchequer for all its wasteful ideas, so why not the hard pressed mtorist - a nice easy soft target?
 
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Just to make everyone gets it:-

Motorways

Towing :- 130kph in the dry, 110kph in the wet.

Towing outfit with gross weight over 3.5t is limited to 110kph in any weather.

Open roads:- 90 in dry, 80 in wet but 50 for outfits over 3.5t.

Dual carriageway:- 110 dry and 100 wet. Outfit over 3.5t 100.

So can peeps who no nothing about driving in France please not post what they think is right (Jim) this can lead to misleading information and potentially endanger the lives of peeps travelling in France for the first time.

When i become assistant mod, nothing that is technically incorrect will get past me!
 
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Are you sure you've got all your facts right, Kanga? My sources tell me that the speed limit for towing outfits with a gross weight of over 3.5 tonnes is also 80kph outside built up areas, not 50kph as you have written.

50kph would really be excessively low and I just can't believe that figure. It must have been a typo error.
 
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Just to make everyone gets it:-

Motorways

Towing :- 130kph in the dry, 110kph in the wet.

Towing outfit with gross weight over 3.5t is limited to 110kph in any weather.

Open roads:- 90 in dry, 80 in wet but 50 for outfits over 3.5t.

Dual carriageway:- 110 dry and 100 wet. Outfit over 3.5t 100.

So can peeps who no nothing about driving in France please not post what they think is right (Jim) this can lead to misleading information and potentially endanger the lives of peeps travelling in France for the first time.

When i become assistant mod, nothing that is technically incorrect will get past me!
Hello Matey Kanga

Your coments are noted but incorect, according to the French DOT

The CORRECT speeds are as followes.

Toll paying Motorways.130kph = 81Mph

Non toll Motorways. 110kph = 68mph

Dual Carageways 90kph = 56mph

A roads 80kph = 50kph

urban areas 50kph = 31

These figures are for towing, nothing to do with weight.

There is no speed limit for the wet any more than here only common scence.

So please get your facts right befor you critise any body.

Jim M
 
Oct 26, 2005
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Just to make everyone gets it:-

Motorways

Towing :- 130kph in the dry, 110kph in the wet.

Towing outfit with gross weight over 3.5t is limited to 110kph in any weather.

Open roads:- 90 in dry, 80 in wet but 50 for outfits over 3.5t.

Dual carriageway:- 110 dry and 100 wet. Outfit over 3.5t 100.

So can peeps who no nothing about driving in France please not post what they think is right (Jim) this can lead to misleading information and potentially endanger the lives of peeps travelling in France for the first time.

When i become assistant mod, nothing that is technically incorrect will get past me!
Helo mr kanga not able to answer the 11-10-05 after all your sarky remarks

jim M
 

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