Speed Limits: Everything You Need to Know

Speed limits will be different depending on the type of road you are driving on. Learning what the UK speed limits are is an essential part of being a good driver, so we’ve created the guide on everything you need to know about speed limits.

Knowing the Speed Limit

You can find out the speed limit of a road by looking for speed limit signs. These are circular signs with a number inside that indicates what the speed limit is. A speed limit sign is used to show the limits up to 60mph. For a 60mph limit, the national speed limit sign will be displayed.

Residential Areas

In cities, towns and residential areas there is usually a 30mph speed limit. Usually, there aren’t many signs around to alert you of this limit. In built-up areas where there are no signs, play on the safe side and stick to a 30mph speed limit.

The way to tell what the speed limit is in a residential area is by the presence of street lights. The highway code states that when you see lampposts, the limit will usually be 30mph unless there is a sign that states otherwise.

National Speed Limit

Main roads such as dual carriageways, motorways and A roads all fall under the national speed limit.

  • A road is either a single or dual carriageway road. If it is a single land there limit will be 60mph.
  • On a dual carriageway, the speed limit is 70mph. Any areas of carriageway that have a lower speed limit will be signposted.
  • On the motorway, the speed limit is also 70mph. Certain stretches of the motorway will also have lower limits which are signposted.


Temporary Speed Limit

A temporary speed limit can be put in place during certain events such as heavy traffic, accidents or roadworks. They are particularly common on motorways and dual carriageways. When there is a temporary speed limit in place, it will be displayed using a temporary or illuminated sign that is above or to the side of the road.

Temporary speed limits should never be ignored. They are there for safety reasons, controlling the flow of traffic for a short period of time.

It’s a Limit for a Reason

The speed limit should never be seen as a target. Sometimes the speed limit isn’t the safest place to drive at either. For example, on country lanes, the speed limit is 60mph, but it would be dangerous to drive at this speed on these roads at night. Think about the road you are driving on, the time of day and also the weather conditions you are driving in to remain safe at all times.



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