Road sign riddle

The 90kph signs on one of our main roads are now crossed out with yellow tape edged in black. They look temporary but no one I’ve spoken to has a clue what they mean. It’s a two-lane road in top condition with no construction in sight. Drivers are all bowling along at the normal speed. Any ideas?


Is it one of the roads downgraded to 80 kph last year, but not subsequently reset to 90? There are some roads round here which have been reclassified back to 90, whilst others have been maintained at 80.
From my observation however, I think many drivers confuse 80 with 90, or 100 or 120 . . .

I wondered that but the crossing-out looks quite professional. I’ll post a pic tomorrow – the curfew has just kicked in.

It’s been 90 for the two years I’ve lived here and I think it always has been if memory serves from earlier holidays. I’ll check into this. Thanks for the suggestion.

All 90 kph limits were reduced to 80, including your road (whether you knew about it or not). Some have recently been reinstated to 90, most have not. I suspect in your case the local authority had not altered the signs, in expectation of upgrading, but has now accepted that henceforth it is 80 kph. Same thing happened on some of our roads and only recently have new signs been erected.

That’s interesting, Brian. I thought the 80kph idea had been scrapped, except on a few marked roads. I just wish they’d enforce a lower limit on the narrow, winding backroads

I think we’d all like that, Al, trouble is you can have all the signage you like, but if someone decides his journey is more important than obeying the law then he’s going to ignore it.

They may be testing a new speed-limit or it could be in preparation for roadworks.

It depends… Different departments have reacted differently to the change back. i.e. where I live I only have to drive a few kilometres in various directions to find three different set of rules & signage (14/50/61).
If the speed limit isn’t obvious it’s better to assume that 80km/h is still in place. If you have a speed limiter life becomes so much more relaxed, & your driving more observant.

I happily trundle around Dand C/CV roads around here at 80kph unless marked otherwise. It’s only work vans and German cars that seem to feel the need to go faster.


Friday 07 February 2020

“The French government has relaxed the law on the 80kph speed limit, but the operational advice has emptied it of a great deal of substance.”

This article makes it clear that the conditions under which a local authority can reinstate 90kph are minimal.

See also the piece about a massive investment in more speed cameras, in the same newsletter.

Same here. I’ve never seen the attraction of speed.

It looks like they’re getting to change the signs. My department (24) voted last year to stick with 90kph where allowed, but my road may not meet the criteria. You see a fair number of agricultural machines, for instance, and this is considered a black mark against the higher limit. Today, most of the traffic was sticking to 80kph-ish. Makes for a much less stressful journey.

I think most experienced drivers have a feel for the “right” speed for a particular road, one conducive to feeling safe and relaxed, but not dawdling. Sadly not everyone agrees with us and some peoples’ business is just too important to have regard for such niceties, hence speed limits. Most of the time they feel about right and if not, it only needs an emerging tractor or oncoming HGV to remind you of why the limit is in place.

Or, perhaps, an encounter with one of the older generation of drivers who cling to the philosophy of priorité au droit.

There’s a lovely old chap who lives in the next village who takes it as his absolute right to turn right without bothering to look if anything is coming…

Yep, we know them so well! You develop a sixth sense though for the PaD drivers, like the one for the car on the roundabout which is signalling right, but you just know he’s going to carry on round!

Must be posh where you live, they don’t have indicators on cars here. Some don’t even gave light switches. :scream:


Well it’s only the plutocrats’ cars, you understand. The poor dears have to spend their Govt subsidies on something, or they won’t get any next year.

UPDATE: The crosses have disappeared and we’re back to 90kph. Mystery.