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Sat-navs sending lorry drivers the wrong way to Amazon depot in Hoo

Lorry drivers are getting stuck down country lanes because their sat-nav is not taking them directly to the new Amazon depot.

Confusion reigns over the postcode of the distribution centre at Kingsnorth so HGV truckers are ending up in rural routes designed more for tractors and cars.

Villagers on the Hoo Peninsula are still up in arms over the chaos caused by wayward drivers who are parking overnight in farm tracks and lay-bys.

Phil Wellbrook tests the post code on his sat nav

They also disgusted at bottles of urine, bags of faeces and rubbish dumped on the roadside en-route to the depot on the industrial estate in Hoo.

There have been reports of near misses involving a lost lorry and horse rider, and delays as lorries end up in ditches as they try to turn round or reverse.

Resident Peter Davis said the peninsula was being used as a giant free car park since Amazon opened last October.

Lorries parked at the lay-by near Four Elms roundabout, Chattenden. Picture: Chris Davey. (8002778)
Lorries parked at the lay-by near Four Elms roundabout, Chattenden. Picture: Chris Davey. (8002778)

The 59-year-old construction manager, of The Willows, Grain, said: “It’s great that Amazon have brought in more jobs.

“But why when the warehouse was built didn’t they build a lorry park with toilet and wash facilities? There’s plenty of room out there.”

Marie Bennett, 49, said when it first opened, drivers were being directed to her home in Stoke Road.

Mrs Bennett said the problem was not as bad as before, when she and husband Stephen would get knocks on the door at night asking for directions.

Our cartoonist Royston's take on the situation with Amazon on Hoo (8066061)
Our cartoonist Royston's take on the situation with Amazon on Hoo (8066061)

She said: “We keep horses, so we have to keep a lookout as sometimes the animals are startled.”

Last Monday, Medway Council installed more temporary signs diverting drivers away from the smaller roads.

Cllr Phil Filmer, portfolio holder for frontline services, said: “We have listened to residents’ concerns and we have placed signs in Main Road, Bells Lane, Duxcourt Road and Stoke Road in Hoo, to assist HGV drivers and to prevent them from driving down narrow country roads.

“I am also awaiting a meeting with businesses on the industrial estate to talk to them about other concerns residents’ have raised about some drivers’ behaviour.”

The sign at Main Road, Hoo. Picture: Chris Davey. (8002848)
The sign at Main Road, Hoo. Picture: Chris Davey. (8002848)

Medway Council is aware of problems concerning public lay-bys and is reviewing the situation.

The owner of a shellfish bar, who did not wish to be named, said it had impacted significantly on his business since Amazon arrived.

He told how customers drive on by as HGVs block the entrance to his business.

Amazon spokesman Melanie Etches said: “As a responsible neighbour, we continue to work with the local council to ensure that vehicles visiting our site have the right information, including accurate postcodes, clear signage and driver behaviour guidelines.”

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