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Lorry 'hotline' could stop Sat Nav HGVs getting stuck

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: December 27, 2012

  • A big articulated lorry stuck in Bushcombe Lane, Woodmancote. The lorry was heading for the same destination with the 'help' of satnav and the driver was highly embarrassed by their predicament. Submitted pic 21-12-12

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A HEAVY goods vehicle hotline and highly-visible signs would help prevent lorries becoming stuck on narrow roads with steep gradients, according to people fed up with the disruption.

After the Echo reported that satellite navigation directions were leaving lorries stuck in Gambles Lane, which links Cleeve Hill to New Barn Lane, other residents have come forward to say that is not the only road affected.

Judith Wray, chairman of Woodmancote parish council, said Stockwell Lane and Bushcombe Lane were also trouble spots.

All three have 7.5 tonnes weight restrictions, but signs at the entrances read "Except for access" which meant lorries often thought they would be fine to proceed.

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"It's happening semi regularly, it's really inconvenient for residents and it's wasting the time of our police officers who have to close the roads when the lorries get stuck," she said.

She said they were not following commercial satellite navigation or Gloucestershire County Council's freight routes.

"They want to cut across and join Cleeve Road, but it's not part of the freight road and when it narrows they just get stuck. One time they even had to get a crane in."

Bushcombe Lane resident Mike Haywood said in September a lorry driver had moved over a little too far to avoid brushing the trees on his right and slipped into the ditch on his left.

The recovery took more than two hours.

The following month, it happened again.

"Both lorries were heading for the same destination with the 'help' of sat-navs and both drivers were highly embarrassed by their predicaments," he said.

"This larger lorry, I believe, posed a serious potential danger. It lost traction on the steep gradient and then slipped backwards not under full control of the driver."

The 69-year-old believes new, bigger signs, complete with a new telephone number to call to check accessibility on certain routes, could help remedy the situation and prevent the problems.

He said: "Putting up new signs is the only thing I can think of that would have a chance of having an immediate effect.

"I would have thought that something like you see on level crossings, where you have to call a specific number and then someone could ask 'how far up are you going?' and if you have discussed it with where you are going."

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