Local councils call for lorry drivers to be banned from using car sat navs

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The LGA represents local councils in England and Wales and believes that the ban would stop HGVs from getting stuck in narrow streets. The association has also called for the introduction of specialist sat navs for lorry drivers.

The LGA added there have been a number of incidents that affected communities this year.

These include:

  • A lorry that blocked a street in Bristol for 15 hours. It had to be moved by a crane.
  • A lorry carrying paint crashed into a bridge in Leicestershire. The LGA said a “substantial” amount of paint was spilled over the road, blocking it for 12 hours.
  • Last year in Swindon, the Wotton Bassett Rail Bridge was struck by a lorry. The LGA said this has happened “numerous times” over the past two decades.

  • And a car transporter became wedged on a local country lane in Somerset. It blocked access to homes in the area.

Councils are, therefore, now calling on the Government to take action and use its forthcoming Transport Bill to mandate HGV drivers to use specialist sat navs, WalesOnline reported.

These are devices that include bridge heights, narrow roads, and roads unsuitable for lorries.

They also allow the driver to input the HGV’s dimensions – height, width, weight and load.

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The LGA said this means they will be guided along suitable roads for their vehicle.

The association added that making the sat navs mandatory will support HGV drivers to carry out effective route planning.

This could be especially beneficial to newly-qualified lorry drivers.

Lorries colliding with local infrastructure or becoming stuck on narrow roads cause major disruptions, the LGA said.

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They often take up significant amounts of time and resources and cause major congestion across the local road network.

They also generate more emissions and cause rail disruptions, according to the LGA.

Councillor David Renard, LGA transport spokesperson, said: “The spate of accidents we continue to see involving lorries blocking streets, damaging local areas and crashing into bridges on an all too regular basis are causing major disruption to local communities.

“There are more lorry journeys than ever, risking more incidents.

“HGV mileage grew by nearly nine percent over the last year and is back above pre-pandemic levels.

“Councils already work with freight and haulage companies to ensure that lorries use the most suitable routes and roads.

“However, there are a minority of drivers who continue to follow sat nav systems that take them down routes that are totally inappropriate for the weight and height of their vehicle.

“By making it mandatory for anyone operating an HGV to use a specialist sat nav device, the Government can help to reduce the risk of accidents and keep our roads moving.”

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