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Is There a Minimum Speed On the Motorway?

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 17 Feb 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Minimum Speed Motorway Driving Speed

Q.

I regularly tow a trailer with a race car on it and only travel at a maximum of 50 mph on motorways (as I feel comfortable doing this speed). A friend follows us with all of the tools etc. in his car.

My question - is there a minimum speed limit on motorways for me towing and for my friend following. He is concerned that he could be prosecuted for traveling too slowly even though he is our 'support vehicle'.

(A.B, 24 March 2009)

A.

At present in the UK, there is no legislation for minimum speeds on UK motorways. Although there has been calls for years to set a minimum speed limit, the practicalities of doing so means that at present there is still no specific minimum speed. In general, road works, variable speed control and flow of traffic can all affect the minimum speed on a motorway so setting a minimum speed can be problematic. In some countries they do set a minimum speed however and it seems to work effectively. The Republic of Ireland has a minimum speed of 30 mph on motorways, but generally in the UK, minimum speeds are temporary and are usually highlighted by circular road signs.

In some cases, there have been individuals who have received fines for driving too slow on the motorway, although these are extremely rare. Generally, to be fined for driving too slowly on the motorway, you need to be causing some kind of an issue for other drivers around you. In the case that you've outlined, where your friend is the support vehicle for you, it's unlikely that you would be fined for driving at around 50 mph.

If you do need to drive on the motorway at a speed which is deemed to be a hazard to others, try and find alternative routes if possible. If you must take a motorway, stay to the inside lane and let others pass without issue. If you should be pulled over by the police, remain calm and explain to them that you are on the motorway out of necessity and your friend is integral to your successful journey. You shouldn't have any problem if you're going around 50 mph anyway as there legally are no minimum speeds on motorways in the UK unless signed otherwise.

If you're at all concerned about getting a fine, speak to the Department of Transport and ask for their advice or alternatively speak to your local police station and explain the situation to them. They will be able to provide you with advice on your personal set of circumstances, but overall, don't feel too concerned about being fined. You're not breaking the law by doing 50 mph on the motorway.

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You can drive 34 miles an hour on a 30 mile limit and can be fined for speeding. You can drive 48 miles an hour on the motorway driving a car leaving heavy goods vehicles to overtake you yet you cant be done for driving too slow. If they are going to apply the 10% rule then it should be 10% above and 10% below the speed limit?
Mark - 17-Feb-17 @ 8:58 PM
With regards to the above comment by Survivslist "Surely, in English Law, you CANNOT be Fined unless you BREAK A WRITTEN LAW! To say that you CAN sometimes be Fined for driving too slow on a Motorway, when THERE IS NO MINIMUM SPEED LIMIT, is NONESENSE! Survivalist" You could be charged with driving without due consideration to other road users
Archie - 7-Jun-16 @ 9:40 PM
Surely, in English Law, you CANNOT be Fined unless you BREAK A WRITTEN LAW! To say that you CAN sometimes be Fined for driving too slow on a Motorway, when THERE IS NO MINIMUM SPEED LIMIT, is NONESENSE! Survivalist
Survivalist - 2-Nov-13 @ 12:43 PM
And obviously as a learner driver you are more aware of the proper procedures and what's happening on the road around you than the examiner. You failed
Jonah - 4-Dec-11 @ 11:11 AM
HELLO JUST DONE MY PRACTICAL TEST (CAR B) YESTERDAY, MADE 5 MARKS, AND 2 SERIUS. IFEELIT WAS NOT FAIR. 1: I WAS ENTERING A20 WOTH 40MPH THEN (MISSING THE NATIONAL SPEED LIMIT SIGN) DID NOT KNOW ACTIUAL SPEED AS IT IS NORMALLY 50 ON DUAL CARRIAGE WAYS. SO I ACCLERARETED ONTO 50 MPH. THAT WAS TOO SLOW FOR THE EXAMINER. BUT AS ON THIS SITE, OFFICIALLY 50 MPH IS NOT A BIG FAULT. 2: I WAS TURNING INTO A SIDESTREET, WAS ON THE TURN WITH HALF OF MY CAR IN THE STREET WHEN AN IDIOT RUN IN FRONT OF ME ( IN THE NAME OF CROSSING THE STREET) VERY UNPROPERY,I SLOWED DOWN, HE REACHED OTHER SIDE. EXMAINER LIED TO MY INTRUCTOR THAT I DID NOT STOP FOR HIM WHEN HE WAS CROSSING THE STREET AROUND THE CORNER HE ALSO SAID I CAUSED A SITUATION TO A LORRY AROUND SOMEWHERE ( THERE WERE NO LORRIES) HE FAILED ME UNFAIRLY ( I AM 33, I AM A SREIOUS MAN, DON`T DRINK, DON`T SMOKE PLEASE HELP ME AS I FIND IT UNFAIR.
GEO - 27-Jul-11 @ 5:00 PM
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