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New sat-nav system for HGVs

26th November 2009 @ 10:10am – by Audlem Webteam
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A satellite navigation system for heavy goods vehicles and tourists is being developed to prevent them clogging up Britain's narrow country roads.

The routes have been planned so lorry drivers can avoid historic communities and their fragile buildings. A report in today's Daily Telegraph highlights places like Lavenham in Suffolk – described as the finest medieval village in Britain – as a typical example where buildings have frequently been hit by heavy traffic.

The 40-foot lorries – some foreign-registered – have damaged the overhanging jettied buildings leaving angry owners facing large repair bills.
In spite of efforts by highways authorities to divert commercial traffic with bollards and warning signs, trucks still try and squeeze through Lavenham to avoid congestion on the A14.

Given that Audlem is on the direct route from Ireland and North Wales to that very same A14, it's possible the same HGVs have inflicted damage and congestion in south Cheshire too.

Tom TomBut now a new system developed by Tom Tom warns drivers of commercial vehicles if they are approaching a hazard such as narrow roads, low bridges or unsuitable routes.

Backed by the Freight Transport Association, the £435 system has been specially programmed using camera cars along the routes and information from drivers. Existing TomTom users can upgrade for £150.

A spokesman for the FTA said: "We asked the sat-nav industry to develop a product aimed at heavy goods vehicles – and this will help drivers avoid obstacles, save money and time and also prevent chaos on urban and rural roads."

Ordnance SurveyOrdnance Survey has also been re-drawing its sat-nav routes to steer lorries away from country roads and villages. It asked councils to submit preferred routes for HGVs.

Cheshire County Council agreed to remove the A525 from the Primary Route Network over a year ago – although the Department of Transport has still not made a formal decision or announcement.

It's hoped, therefore, that Cheshire will have made sure that Audlem, with its narrow roads and vulnerable historic buildings, was on the OS list of villages that should be avoided by HGVs.

It would be useful if anyone at Highways for Cheshire could confirm if this is the case. Or failing that, perhaps the question could be put to them.


This article is from our news archive. As a result pictures or videos originally associated with it may have been removed and some of the content may no longer be accurate or relevant.

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