Friday 4 February 2011

Government announces proposals to change road network policy, Good Garage Scheme reads.

The Government’s transport minister, Norman Baker, has announced a consultation period to run until May 1st for changes to road network policy.

This will include councils being given greater powers over road classification in their areas, tackling problems such as issues with “sat nav” technology and the resultant increased congestion.

While sat navs can be a wonderful tool in assisting motorists with navigation, when they have errors the technology can also be in the news for the wrong reasons.

An inquest has this week heard of a fatal crash in September caused by wrong sat nav information concerning a no right turn. Other less serious yet still inconvenient examples have been well publicised.

Mr Baker added:  "We are also using this as an opportunity to invite new ideas of tackling some of the problems caused by sat navs, for example lorries being directed down unsuitable roads.” One such example occurred in 2009 with an articulated lorry becoming stuck for five days in the tiny Cotswold village of Syde after it became wedged in a ditch on a hairpin bend.

At present the Department for Transport (DfT) approves changes such as downgrading “A” roads to “B” roads but after the changes have been effected, they will only intervene when a council’s decision has met with widespread criticism.

The proposals would mean a better flow of traffic and reduced congestion to minor roads unsuitable for commercial vehicles. Hopefully then high profile sat nav errors can become a thing of the past.

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