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8 Mar 2012

I think we all felt a pang of sympathy for the poor driver who got his lorry wedged in a narrow street in Somerset after following instructions from his satnav and subsequently causing the closure of the local high street. We’ve all had that “Really???? Are you sure???” moment when the automated voice tries to direct us down an obviously unsuitable road. Or, even worse, the dreaded “Perform a U-Turn” when travelling down a one way street / dual carriage way / motorway.

Only last month a survey by insurance quote provider revealed misleading sat-nav directions caused more than £200 million worth of damage to vehicles in the past year – the majority of this occurred when motorists were sent the wrong way.

However, as much as you may like to, throwing your satnav out of the window simply isn’t an option (dammit) – they’re invaluable for those of use who drive for a living. And so it’s of great relief to hear the Government is today (8 March 2012) holding its first satnav summit to look at the problem of lorries and other large vehicles being directed down inappropriate roads.

Hosted by the Department for Transport and chaired by the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transportation (ADEPT), the summit will see highway authorities and mapping providers working together to identify viable solutions to keep the right vehicles on suitable roads.

The summit comes just one month before local authorities are able to reclassify roads without having to go to Whitehall for approval. This will effectively mean local authorities can control the flow of traffic by ensuring A-roads are placed where they want vehicles to run and lowering the category of road in places they want traffic to avoid.

Great news! We’ll wait to hear the outcome of the summit and keep you updated. In the meantime, feel free to giggle at some satnav misfortunes.

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