SURVEY – Should the Isle of Man make its temporary speed limit permanent?

Disclaimer: I don’t work anywhere in Government, I’m not a police officer nor a spook (or am I?!). I really like cars, particularly if they make loud noises and go quite fast. In fact I frequently moan about overzealous speed limits and “traffic calming” measures (*coughs* Strang Road!). So I’m approaching this purely from a point of interest.

On March 27, as part of its efforts to prevent overwhelming our health service due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Manx Government implemented an island-wide speed limit of 40mph. While most accepted the measure, there were whispers of conspiracy on social media that this was a permanent limit introduced by stealth. This was quashed by IOM Police at the time.

An all-island speed limit is however, a long-standing topic of discussion for us Manxies, with many arguments on both sides of the debate.
One such argument is that, thanks largely to the TT, the Isle of Man is associated with speed limits, or lack thereof. To introduce an island-wide limit would ‘ruin’ one of the Island’s unique propositions. I have also heard arguments that such a measure is simply unnecessary nanny state interference.

On the other hand, since this limit was introduced, according to Chief Constable Gary Roberts road traffic collisions are down 80% – April saw fewer road traffic collisions (and therefore likelihood of injury/death) than any month since 1993. Of course there were also fewer cars on the road. There is however the positive environmental impact of everyone driving slower, which by the way also means more pennies in your purse as you’re shelling out on Shell less often.

Since its introduction, I’ve been gladly obeying this temporary limit (despite my bias above) as I’ll do whatever I can do to help our Island get through this pandemic. Yet, over time, I’ve begun to get used to it and am beginning to consider that a limit might be, in balance, a good thing for us all in the long term.

In reality, the journey time saved travelling 5 miles with a max limit of 40mph versus no speed limit is probably minimal, a minute at most maybe? Bear in mind, while there may be no limit on parts of the journey, road conditions, other cars/tractors/horses/cyclists etc means you’ll very rarely top 60mph anywhere on the Island.

But that’s all missing a big part of owning a car/motorbike isn’t it? I enjoy driving, I like the feeling of speed (where safe and legal to do so obvs) so how would I feel if this was taken away?

You can probably tell I’m undecided. So I’m curious to understand what the feeling of the general population may be – therefore I’d appreciate your views via the following Survey:

It’s anonymous and takes less than 30 seconds. 

Note: The entire findings will be published. The survey’s not been commissioned by any Government department – there’s no shady stuff going on here, just my curiosity.

18 thoughts on “SURVEY – Should the Isle of Man make its temporary speed limit permanent?”

  1. This didn’t take long did it? The answer is absolutely not. In the face of an outcry over proposals to introduce an all-Island speed limit, the Government held a referendum, the result of which was an emphatic ‘No’! Why do people who object to the outcome of a democratic vote now feel its acceptable to continue re-visiting it in the hope of getting the answer they want?

  2. Definitely not. Perhaps educate all road users but definitely don’t make the temporarily 40mph permanent.

  3. Well said Peter. This has been done to death. And there are also studies which say the opposite about slower driving and pollution

  4. No way should the overall speed limit be limited to 40mph. As Peter mentions below there was a referendum a couple of years ago and the vote was against putting an overall speed limit.

  5. If a measure that was implemented due to Covid19 was kept after it was no longer relevant, it would set a dangerous precedent for future measures to future disasters. People would be more likely to oppose future measures in case the same thing happens. Once trust is lost it’s hard to regain.

  6. Its stupid to place the lack of accidents down to the speed limit. There are other major factors like zero school traffic lower numbers on the roads only essential journeys. So you are an idiot if you think its down to the speed limit alone

  7. The reason there were so few accidents was because there has been little of no traffic on the road. It is mischievous of our Chief Constable to suggest otherwise. But where did the limit set at 40 for the mountain come from? No one knows that, and with such a silly limit, certainly makes one wonder what those in power are planning next!

  8. Yes but make it 50, not 40. Just because you can drive at 70/80 doesn’t mean the roads are safe enough to do so! Or the drivers!

  9. Despite the remarks made by the Chief Constable which dont really make that much sense lets not go down any other road other than the one we already have. There are plenty of countries with no maximum speed limit that have no higher death rates than say the likes of the UK. In the main it is self governing and people generally drive within their means. One reason a lot of car and motorcycle clubs come here is to do that ‘over 70 mph blast’ and they simply would not come. We are after all the home of the TT and many other motor sport events…lets not ruin the pluses.

    Definitely Not – NO, NO, NO.
    a) It is against the freedom that the Island Stands for.b) The Island is most famous for it’s Motor Sport – do we want to loose that and become a laughing stock!c) Imagine driving from Port Erin to Ramsey at no more than 40 mph all the way – how slow, how boring and time-consuming?d) It will give the Police even more work to do in trying to regulate something that is unnecessary!e) Many of the roads on the Island are relatively unpopulated and Speed limits are not necessary.f) The reason there have been less accidents during the present 40 mph restriction is that there has been virtually no traffic!g) Would we then all have to down-grade our vehicles to Fiat 500’s or re-introduce the Peel car for everyone? I hope not!g) This is just another attempt by the few people desiring it to try and impose their will! – No thank you!

  11. Absolutely Not. And a few questions for you1)Where did this really come from? IoM Constabulary and IoMG won’t let this lie, despite a recent referendum on the topic.2) Do you appreciate that this issue has the potential to become the Island’s Brexit, threatening our society’s cohesiveness just when we need it most and distracting the legislative production-line from where it’s really needed?2) What’s the end-date and when/where will the results be published?3) Where are the detailed results going? Will IoMC/IoMG have access to the more complex detail?4) Who designed the questions? The over-complexity and double-negatives sound like they have come straight from a Sir Humphrey on Prospect Hill.5) Do you appreciate that SurveyMonkey surveys can be taken over by nefarious operators? This particular survey can be taken multiple times by clearing out your cookies and can be run from (for example) Belarus – yes, I’ve tried!6) We have been told by Howard Quayle on many occasions during this episode that we are effectively on a war footing – have you know the quotation "the first casualty of war is Truth"

  12. Not a good ideaAnd it’s becoming increasingly frustrating coming over the mountain at 32mph in a queue fronted by an octogenarian in a Nissan Micra trying to prove a point. This has to stop very soon or we’re going to have a Sandy Hook on our hands!

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