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SatNav warriors invade Somerset village

Rural idyll ruined

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A quiet Somerset village has been turned into a rat-run because of satellite navigation systems, residents claim. Locals in Barrow Gurney say up to 10,000 vehicles a day are taking the road through the centre of their village - instead of the main road - in order to get to Bristol Airport.

Signposted routes to Bristol Airport advise cars to follow the A38, but sat-nav users are pointed towards an alternative (and supposedly less congested route) through Barrow Gurney. Parish council chairman Geoff Coombs told the BBC that heavy traffic is destroying village life. "I think there really should be some special dispensation not to route these very high volumes of traffic through small villages close to facilities such as airports," he said.

Car navigation systems, such as TomTom, commonly feature a traffic update report that allows users to plan their route around congestion. TomTom said even with this feature users should still exercise common sense when selecting routes. "If a driver ever feels that they are being directed down an inappropriate road then the TomTom can quickly re-route them," it said. ®

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