Half a mile from Ballakilley Beg is the ancient village of Maughold.

The road into Maughold is a country lane with only a few places where cars can pass each other.

As you come into the village there is a speed restriction sign. In the village the speed limit is 20mph. Outside the village the speed is unrestricted.

In the Isle of Man an unrestricted zone means exactly that – there is no speed limit.

On this winding country lane it is hardly safe to exceed 20mph on either side of the sign, but that is not the point. In principle, outside the village you are free to travel as fast as you like.

It is hard to think of any other place in Europe, or indeed anywhere, where there is a stretch of road with a 20mph speed limit on one side of a sign and no speed limit at all on the other.

Thankfully the Isle of Man lags several decades behind the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe in the relentless growth of the nanny state.

Chris Thorpe

Chris Thorpe is a respected independent lawyer in the upstream oil and gas industry, and an established lecturer and author. Chris has a LLB in law from Magdalene College, Cambridge and trained as a barrister in London. He worked for eight years' as an in-house lawyer for BP and Marathon. Since 1991, Chris has run his own upstream legal practice, CPTL, which has acted for many upstream clients. He has extensive experience of international upstream transactions, principally in the North Sea, the FSU, Africa and the Middle East. Chris has spoken at many UK and International Conferences and Seminars, both public and in-house. His most popular current lecture is Fundamental of Upstream Petroleum Agreements, a two-day course with accompanying book.