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Home > Focus > Satellite navigation systems create problems in rural villages.

Satellite navigation systems create problems in rural villages.

di Redazione FGB [1], 20 Dicembre 2007

England's green and pleasant land, criss-crossed with windy single lane roads passing through one-pub villages is being invaded by satellite-navigated cars and lorries. These once deserted roads are now heavy with traffic thanks to the spread of cheap in-car "sat-nav" systems.
These systems are capable of guiding any driver "across country" taking the most direct route from one place to another but they do not take into account the size or suitability of the roads.
Several small villages have asked to have their roads removed from these systems as their residents complain about the heavy traffic and unsuitability of the roads, some do not have pavements or street lights and the houses are very close to the road causing hold ups, structural damage and problems for the drivers as well as the locals.
The map-making companies respond however that they "do not have the authority to cancel villages from the map" (Dick Snauwaert, spokesperson for Tele Atlas quoted in La Repubblica [2] 5/12/2007) as they are public documents, and that it is the drivers who must take responsibility for their choice of roads and the local authorities who should put up signs demonstrating their (un)suitability for heavy goods vehicles. If the driver feels that the road is unsuitable they should try another route.
On the BBC website [3] the example of Barrow Gurney is cited. A handful of houses already cited in the Doomesday book of 1086, Barrow Gurney now appears in these virtual publications as a shortcut to Bristol airport. Each day 15 000 cars and lorries pass through the village.
The International Herald Tribune [4] have a photo and series of disaster stories about the village of Wedmore in the same area, and claim that the problem is exacerbated by the influx of foreign lorry drivers who do not carry maps and cannot understand the road signs.
For a broader discussion of traffic problems in the area see this speech by local Conservative MP Liam Fox (Conservative) who addressed the problem in the House of Commons when discussing plans for the expansion of Bristol airport at the governmental website TheyWorkForYou.com [5].
The innovation of real-time update systems involving the participation of the users makes the problem even more acute. In the event of a hold up on the motorway all the traffic is diverted along the same country roads, with the inevitable consequences.
The sat-nav companies say it will require several months or even years of improvement to alleviate these problems.

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Link citati nell'articolo:

  1. 1] /schedabiografica/Redazione FGB
  2. 2] http://www.repubblica.it/
  3. 3] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/gloucestershire/4781350.stm
  4. 4] http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/12/03/europe/gps.php
  5. 5] http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2004-05-24.1412.0&s=speaker%3A10531
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