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Call For No SatNav Signs As Another Lorry Gets Wedged

Article by: rob brady
Date: 22 Aug 2013

It's thought that yet another lorry has got stuck in a narrow lane due to an over-reliance on a satnav.

Regardless of whether the driver actually depended solely on the satnav, blind faith seems to have played a part in an outcome that ended with his 24-tonne HGV truck firmly wedged between two walls on an Anglesey, North Wales road.

The miffed owner of one of the walls, Dafydd Hobson, claims that it will cost £2,000 to repair a 25 to 30ft stretch of his wall after the emergency services recommended that the only way for the lorry to get out of the situation was to drive forward, therefore damaging the wall.

Commenting on the situation, Hobson said, "There are three such lanes near Llandegfan. Unfortunately, companies who use satnav don’t realise that they are very narrow. This time a 24-tonne HGV – which was much too wide for the road – was stuck here for six hours. He was a driver on his first visit and was upset."

Hobson has complained about the problem for several years and has called for narrow lane alerts to be given on satnavs.

There is a sign indicating that the road is unsuitable for wide vehicles at the entrance to the road.

Anglesey Council had already applied to the Welsh Government for permission to erect "No Satellite Navigation" signs in the area and are waiting approval.

The driver's employers said in his defence that he "had checked the road with customers".


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Posted by GerryC on Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:01 pm Reply with quote

Well this time even the article notes that the "minimum width" sign isn't at the end of the road. The "unsuitable" sign is just a suggestion.

It doesn't help that celebrity Stobart drivers are shown going through these signs as if they don't apply to them laughing as they almost destroy property.


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Posted by lenfish on Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:39 pm Reply with quote

The driver's employers said in his defence that he "had checked the road with customers".

Well, that's ok then, not his fault. Very Happy


Posted by matthewj on Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:21 am Reply with quote

Who on earth would think that a sign saying "no satellite navigation" would ever help this? If my satnav takes me somewhere I don't know, I'm not going to stop using it due to a sign! How about a more useful sign like "Satnav users: Beware narrow lanes".

But much more practically, it is time for some of those "arches" they use in car parks and the like for low ceiling warnings. Put up an arch, and have heavy chains hanging at the width of the narrowest part of the road. The lorry will clank like heck and the driver will have a practical means to get out of the situation. I can certainly imagine that if I'd driven a mile up a narrow lane I'd think hard about how I could ever reverse out safely when I got to a really narrow part. I'd just hope I could squeeze past - that's natural.

Oh, and would the chains damage cars? Well, make them plastic covered, but I'll bet any car that takes that lane will be scratched by the hedges anyway. If you can't drive through the gap in your car without being hit, you should reverse too.

Posted by actd on Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:03 pm Reply with quote

I was in North Wales a couple of weeks ago and saw signs to say the road wasn't suitable for HGV using Satnav - never seen these signs before, but they are better than nothing. The problem is that they are advisory, not compulsory and if the signs are not sufficient at the start of the road, how is an HGV driver supposed to know until it's too late - reversing down a country lane may not be a safe or practical option.

The chains, as mentioned above, are a practical solution, as long as it also says how far up the lane that restriction applied - an HGV may only need to drive up the lane a short way to get to a destination well before the restriction.

Posted by MaFt on Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:25 pm Reply with quote

We have a couple of signs near us that have gone up recently. It's a rectangular sign, blue background with a white truck and white arrow pointing to the side road. It has a red diagonal line through it. Clearly says 'no trucks' but as it's not in the highway code (that I can fine) it's not an enforceable sign...

However, with or without a sign they can still be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention. You've got to be pretty stupid to carry on driving down a narrow road in an HGV...!!


Posted by DennisN on Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:52 pm Reply with quote

These days, there are quite a lot of HGV drivers who can barely read English, so fancy signs which say don't go in here will be useless.


If it tastes good - it's fattening.

Two of them are obesiting!!

Posted by MaFt on Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:13 pm Reply with quote

DennisN Wrote:
These days, there are quite a lot of HGV drivers who can barely read English, so fancy signs which say don't go in here will be useless.

But if it's a picture then it's easier ;) No words to read :p

Posted by DennisN on Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:39 pm Reply with quote

Yeah, yeah. What's the International sign for "if you're driving an HGV, don't follow your satnav down here"? As opposed to the International sign for "don't follow your satnav down here, because the ferry at the bottom is pedestrian only"?


If it tastes good - it's fattening.

Two of them are obesiting!!

Posted by Quinny1 on Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:13 pm Reply with quote

A lot of farms that supply milk are down tracks that would frighten even the most hardened of car drivers. trust me, I know.

But I would never trust a customer that said it was ok to get to them, because they all say, "We get vehicles like yours in here all the time." and when the shit hits the fan they then turn around and say something completely different like, "Oh. I didn't realise it was that big."

A driver should always make his own physical check if he's unsure, and not rely on someone else's say so.

Posted by Guivre46 on Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:00 pm Reply with quote

I think a lot of HGV drivers use sat navs that are intended for cars, but car sat navs try to take you down roads that are barely wide enough for a car anyway. Each time I go to visit my sister in Swanage my 550 tries to get me off the A38 down some very leafy/overgrown lanes. Same happens in the Cotswolds. So I'm used to having to make a quick evaluation of the route viability [then back out onto a busy main road]. So whilst I agree that the driver is responsible, I do think that sat nav maps are a little 'optimistic'.

I think the view here is that a sat nav cannot differentiate between roads, but I'm wondering if 'unclassified' roads could be excluded from routing? I know that some of them are perfectly OK, but I'd accept longer routes just for the peace of mind. Mind you some B roads are nerve tingling as well......

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Posted by Anita on Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:15 pm Reply with quote

Guivre46 Wrote:
I'm wondering if 'unclassified' roads could be excluded from routing?

NO!! Evil or Very Mad

That's fine for someone living in West London, but I live in a rural area and use unclassified roads all the time.

As I'm very accustomed to driving on narrow lanes I use them a lot on holiday too, in fact the places I stay are usually accessed by such roads. I've yet to come across one that isn't passable (with care) in an average sized car, which is what my TT 720 is designed for.

If I drove a truck I'd use a satnav designed for that type of vehicle, which might well exclude unclassified roads.

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