Device fails to account for custom

Modern technology has been blamed for causing chaos around one of Ireland's most renowned tourist routes after satellite navigation systems prompted visitors to break an unspoken traffic rule.

Touring coach parties have traditionally driven in an anti-clockwise direction around the narrow 170km (120-mile) Ring of Kerry trail between Killorglin and Kenmare.

But camper vans and heavy vehicles using sat-nav devices are being directed to go clockwise, causing severe traffic jams at bottlenecks on the scenic route.

The issue has been raised at Killarney Town Council which is planning to ask sat-nav manufacturers to adjust their sets to accommodate the unofficial, but traditional, one-way system.

Coach driver Michael 'Dero' O'Sullivan, co-owner of Dero's Tours which has been running Ring of Kerry tours since the 1940s, called for the local council to erect signs to impose a de facto one-way system.

"It's becoming a traffic hazard at this stage," he said.

"If a tour bus meets a heavy vehicle like a truck on a narrow section, the gardai will have to be called to clear the congestion that builds up.

"Some of my passengers end up missing bus, train or airport connections because of the delays."

Navteq, one of the leading sat-nav providers, said they would be delighted to hear from Killarney Council, and other local authorities with similar issues.

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