The Local Government Association (LGA) has called for an outright ban on heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) being routed through local roads using standard car sat navs.
Lorry drivers are supposed to use specialist sat navs, which provide route guidance that takes into consideration the size of the vehicle before plotting the navigation. These specialist guides plot a course that is fit for the lorry, reviewing bridge heights, narrow roads and country lanes unsuitable for large vehicles.
Despite the availability of this technology, the LGA has warned that many HGV drivers continue to damage bridges, block small streets, get stuck in villages and crash into bridges; all because they have been poorly guided by a standard car sat nav.
The LGA is calling on the Goverment to make changes to its forthcoming Transport Bill. They propose a change in the law to compel all HGV drivers to use specialist route guidance to avoid major disruption on local roads.
The LGA transport spokesperson, Cllr David Renard, commented on the issue at hand: “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 9% 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, a minority of drivers 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 satnav device, the Government can help to reduce the risk of accidents and keep our roads moving.”