Ordnance Survey rescues rural towns from juggernauts

Keeping local shops really local

Killjoys at the Ordnance Survey are to direct heavy goods vehicle drivers away from narrow country lanes and high streets, depriving rural residents of the most fun they've had since fox hunting was banned.

The government mapping agency has asked local councils to provide it with approved freight route maps. OS provides the underlying UK road network data to the sat nav industry, and is working to get the data picked up by sat navs.

“This will in turn help reduce congestion on local roads and help ensure hauliers can make their journeys safely and efficiently,” the agency says.

Sadly, it will also rob the UK’s rural population of the joy of watching lorry drivers and assorted townies get their oversized vehicles stuck in narrow byways, rivers, and railways.

Just last month, news reached the outside world that Czech lorry driver Yuro Odehnal was taken in by locals in Ivy Bridge Devon after his sat nav directed him up a narrow country lane of no return.

In May, a 20-year-old student had an extremely narrow escape when she was directed onto a railway track, only to see her car totalled by an oncoming express as she dutifully closed the crossing gate behind her.

And in March, a £96k Mercedes SL500 was plunged into an icy torrent after the owner’s sat nav directed her down a winding track and straight into the River Sence in Sheepy Magna, Leicestershire.

Luckily, the burgeoning field of sat nav cockup journalism should survive, albeit by relying on overseas coverage from places like Germany, where, rogue sat navs have apparently taken to directing drivers into toilets. ®

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