Sat-Nav blamed for lorries ignoring weight limits in minor roads

MASSIVE lorries are being guided down local roads and lanes despite weight limits because of the misuse of satellite navigation systems, according to a Parliamentary hopeful. Sandy Walkington, LibDem prospective Parliamentary candidate for St Albans, hig

MASSIVE lorries are being guided down local roads and lanes despite weight limits because of the misuse of satellite navigation systems, according to a Parliamentary hopeful.

Sandy Walkington, LibDem prospective Parliamentary candidate for St Albans, highlighted the issue days after a foreign articulated lorry caused havoc in the city centre after being in a collision with a car waiting at traffic lights.

Mr Walkington said he had received numerous reports of the chaos caused particularly by large lorries being guided over low bridges.

He added: "Station Road in Smallford is particularly badly affected because it is a cut-through from Hatfield Road to the A414.


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"The fact it is signposted with a three-tonne weight limit is simply ignored by HGV drivers, many of them foreign, who are simply relying on their SatNav for directions."

Smallford resident Martin Falk, a retired professional driver, saw a 60-foot-long Dutch articulated lorry trying to cross the narrow hump-backed bridge across the Alban Way at Smallford. He had words with the driver who ignored him and carried on.

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Mr Falk is worried not only about the safety of the bridge but also about collision risks as other drivers meet unexpected obstacles.

He said: "On other occasions I have seen them turn round and they have to reverse in and out of side roads. It is very dangerous. There is no excuse for them coming down Station Road. The three-tonne limit is clearly signposted. It is just bad and selfish driving."

Mr Walkington pointed out that Mr Falk had been able to note the offending vehicle's number plate and report it to police. He said: "I hope they will take action the next time the offending vehicle enters the country. But we also need mobile cameras to catch out these offenders and make an example of them."

He added: "I also hope that local businesses who take deliveries from these vehicles make sure that drivers know which local roads they should use. Finally there is a huge responsibility on the manufacturers of SatNav systems to make sure that local weight and width restrictions are clearly signalled before drivers attempt to use wholly-inadequate roads.

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