New road network plans announced

The Government has announced new plans, under which councils will be allowed to exercise more control over methods to classify roads in their areas.

Driving on unsuitable routes could lead to an increase in the number ofbreakdown claims.

Launching a consultation into road network policy, transport minister Norman Baker said local authorities are in a better position to decide on route numbering. The consultation is open until May 1.

Under current rules, proposals for changes such as downgrading an A road to a B road are approved by the Department for Transport (DfT).

Mr Baker said: "We are also using this as an opportunity to invite new ideas of tackling some of the problems caused by satnavs, for example lorries being directed down unsuitable roads.

"We want to hear suggestions as to how the current system could be improved - and how councils could better work with satnav companies."

Once the new system comes into effect, the DfT will only handle cases that involve serious disagreements about a council's decision.

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