‘Ban lorries from using car sat navs to end chaos on our roads and bridges’

A councillor has called for HGVs driving in Derbyshire to be banned from using car sat navs due to the "chaos" it causes on unsuitable county roads. Councillor Stuart Swann, Conservative member for the Swadlincote South division, says HGV drivers must be forced to use industry-specific sat navs designed for heavy vehicles. This, he says, would avoid the HGVs driving on roads not designed to cope with the weight and size of the heavy vehicles.

Cllr Swann oversees the division which includes villages such as Walton-on-Trent, along with Lullington, Overseal and Rosliston. They experience particular issues relating to HGVs. The now infamous and ageing single-track Walton Bridge is frequently blocked, causing the surrounding roads around Walton to seize to a standstill, due to overweight and oversized HGVs attempting to cross it - only to find they are too large or too heavy.

A replacement bridge, which would allow two-way traffic, has been in debate for decades and is set to come to fruition, in conjunction with a large housing scheme on the nearby former Drakelow power station. Read more: Work to build new crossing to replace Bailey Bridge is delayed Cllr Swann, who is due to raise the motion at a meeting of Derbyshire County Council this week, wrote: "HGVs getting stuck, blocking streets for extended periods, and damaging both public infrastructure and private property is happening on an increasingly regular basis on our local roads with such incidents having a severely negative impact on the lives of Derbyshire residents.

Many of the lorries that cause this chaos while threatening safety on our roads are being guided by standard car sat navs, and the Department for Transport needs to take effective action to combat this issue. "Specialist sat navs for HGVs indicate bridge heights, produce narrow road warnings, and highlight routes that are unsuitable for the vehicles. The devices also enable the operator to input the truck's dimensions - height, width, weight and load - so the sat nav only guides them along suitable roads.

The now infamous and ageing single-track Walton Bridge is frequently blockedThe now infamous and ageing single-track Walton Bridge is frequently blocked

"It is acknowledged that HGVs have a vital role in the economy, and making specialist sat navs mandatory will support drivers in undertaking effective route planning which, along with the deployment of more effective signage, will be of great benefit to both them and, crucially, numerous communities throughout Derbyshire."

Cllr Swann is also calling for the council as a whole to ask the Department for Transport to change the law to allow local authorities to install "more effective signage to deter HGVs from using unsuitable roads".

In addition, he is calling for the support of all of Derbyshire's MPs in "tackling the blight caused by HGVs to numerous local communities as well as the impact this issue has on the safety, health, and general wellbeing of residents".