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Sat-nav trucks banned from lanes

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Chaos caused by satellite navigation units directing heavy lorries down country lanes has prompted Gloucestershire County Council to take punitive action.

It has banned trucks from all minor roads inside an area of 150 square miles after dozens of incidents including a foreign driver becoming stuck for four days in a lane in neighbouring Somerset.

Stroud, Gloucester and Cirencester are included in the no-go area adjoining the M5 in which lorries will have to take designated routes and not blindly follow their sat nav devices.

Councillor Stan Waddington told the Gloucestershire Echo: "This is not about banning HGVs or trying to make life difficult for those who operate them.

"We appreciate the important contribution they make to the livelihood of farms, shops and other rural businesses, but we have a duty to try to protect parts of Gloucestershire that have increasingly suffered from traffic congestion."

If successful, the plan, which begins in the new year and bars trucks over 7.5 tonnes, could be extended to the whole of county. The council expects the increase in freight traffic on the designated routes to be about 10%.

© The Press Association 2008