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Curse of the satnav to be lifted

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The curse of articulated lorries sent down narrow country lanes by wayward satellite navigation systems may soon be lifted.

Work is now under way to produce a guidance system specifically designed to keep heavy goods vehicles out of trouble.

This will be good news for Network Rail, which reports 2,000 lorries a year jammed under its bridges at a cost of £10 million and 5,000 hours of delays.

The popularity of satnavs has led to a rapid increase in the number of drivers, many of them foreign, who either cannot or will not read a map and ignore road signs.

Road safety minister Jim Fitzpatrick has now promised that work is under way to programme information on roads unsuitable for trucks on to the devices.

Lib Dem MP David Heath had complained that a low bridge in his constituency was hit "almost every other week", often by HGVs driven by foreign drivers relying on their satnav.

He had asked if the Government "are now prepared to introduce a route hierarchy into satnav structures in order to make sure that heavy lorries do not use roads that simply cannot take them".

© Press Association 2009