Published: 00:01, 06 March 2012
KCC's Bryan Sweetland with one of the new signs in Windmill Hill, Gravesend
Lorries that block up rural roads when their sat nav fails them could soon be routing for trouble.
The lorries, mostly foreign-registered, can drive motorists round the bend when they clog up village lanes with an outdated sat nav route.
Now Kent County Council is drawing up an action plan to tackle the problem.
It comes as local transport minister Norman Baker meets local authorities today to thrash out solutions.
The minister wants highway authorities, mapping providers and sat nav manufacturers to work more closely to make sure the right vehicles are on the right roads.
Kent is at the forefront of the fight, as its role as gateway to mainland Europe pushes more heavy traffic onto its roads.
A scene from last year when a lorry followed its sat nav and got stuck while attempting to turn around in Barming
Kent County Council cabinet member for environment, highways and waste, Bryan Sweetland, recently ordered the installation of ‘no HGV’ signs on Windmill Hill, in Gravesend.
The action plan hopes to reduce pressure on local communities, but still keep firms moving.
Proposals that will be consulted with businesses and KCC's other partners later this month include:
Mr Sweetland said: "Residents in many towns and villages are familiar with lorries taking the wrong road and getting stuck, blocking roads and, in some cases, damaging buildings.
"Many of these are foreign drivers and the work we have been doing as part of our Freight Action Plan is around making sure drivers use the most appropriate routes.
"We know that we will not be able to influence all lorry drivers, but there are ways we can improve the use of our roads - for example by providing online route mapping for delivery and logistics firms, and we will now consult these with other groups.
"This is not about a blanket ban on lorries because companies and businesses have to use our roads and we do not want to limit business.
"We want to make sure we keep Kent moving by putting HGVs on the best available routes."
More by this authorDanny Boyle
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