Sat nav summit a step in the right direction

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MORE lorries could find themselves lost down South Holland’s narrow country lanes unless there is some joined-up thinking between councils and sat nav map-makers.

As the Government prepares to hold a sat nav summit to try to end the misery caused by vehicles being directed down unsuitable roads, Spalding councillor Roger Gambba-Jones has warned the problem could get worse as local authorities get new powers to change road classifications.

From April Lincolnshire County Council’s highways department will be able to set the classification, such as A, B or unclassified, for the roads it is responsible for without the approval of the Department of Transport.

Coun Gambba-Jones, South Holland district councillor for Spalding Wygate ward, said sat navs already cause problems in the district because of HGVs being directed down single-track lanes and through housing estates, but said unless any sat nav map-makers are notified of all classification changes, the problems could multiply.

He said: “This deregulation could make it worse unless councils co-ordinate the changes with sat nav systems because some roads are just not suitable for HGVs and we have our fair share of single track lanes.

“I know from personal experience, for example, that sat navs send vehicles down Two Plank Lane, off Woolram Wygate, and you often see foreign lorries driving through housing estates or Spalding town centre.

“I don’t think any sat nav summit will totally solve the problem, but it’s a step in the right direction.”