Plans for HGV sat nav under review

A review is under way to develop satellite navigation systems specifically for lorries to prevent them getting stuck down country lanes.

Road safety minister Jim Fitzpatrick said that a system for heavy goods vehicles could be implemented to issue drivers with information about roads which are unsuitable for the size of their vehicle.

The announcement comes after Liberal Democrat MP David Heath (Somerton and Frome) complained that a low bridge in his constituency was hit "almost every other week" by HGVs relying on sat nav devices.

The popularity of sat navs has caused drivers to ditch maps and ignore road signs in favour of the electronic device.

However, as a result Network Rail says that 2,000 bridges are hit every year by lorries travelling on inappropriate roads, costing £10 million and causing 5,000 hours of delays.

At Commons question time, Mr Heath asked: "Are the Government now prepared to introduce a route hierarchy into sat nav structures in order to make sure that heavy lorries do not use roads that simply cannot take them?"

Mr Fitzpatrick responded: "Work is being undertaken for a heavy goods vehicle programme to make sure sat navs indicate suitability of roads for HGVs."

Copyright © Press Association 2009