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Out-of-date sat-navs 'will be updated'

PUBLISHED: 09:56 04 March 2009 | UPDATED: 08:01 01 August 2010

OUT-of-date information programmed into sat-nav devices which may have led a lorry driver down a Suffolk road where he hit a house will be updated, a council promised yesterday.

OUT-of-date information programmed into sat-nav devices which may have led a lorry driver down a Suffolk road where he hit a house will be updated, a council promised yesterday.

Suffolk County Council responded yesterday to an incident on Monday which saw a lorry “side-swipe” the newly remodelled 18th-century home of Martin and Margaret Canter in Ditchingham, near Bungay.

The impact, which demolished the porch, also shifted part of the building and created cracks in the walls and ceiling of their home on Ditchingham Dam.

The couple say that every day hundreds of drivers find themselves with no choice but to turn around in a narrow lane next to their home after being sent along the route by satellite-navigation devices.

Neighbour Deirdre Shepherd said she had been told that the information about a new one-way system where the road becomes Bridge Street at the Norfolk-Suffolk border, had not been passed on to sat-nav companies because it was “temporary”, even though it was implemented more than five years ago.

But a county council spokesman said the change had been in place under a permanent traffic order since July 2003.

She admitted that the council had not passed on the amendment to Ordnance Survey, which sat-nav companies rely on for their information, saying that previously the need to do so had not arisen because sat-nav devices were not in popular use until recent years.

She said: “The information sat-nav has is quite old and we will be speaking to our contacts at Ordnance Survey to see if we can update that information, although it does take some time for it to go through the system.

“We haven't had any complaints about the problem in that road but we will contact Norfolk County Council and between the two of us

we will look at improving the signage.”

The spokesman said a review would look into whether improvements could be made to signs which alert drivers that there is no access to Bungay along Ditchingham Dam from the A143 roundabout, known locally as the chicken roundabout.

She added that Suffolk was chosen last year along with Somerset to take part in a government pilot scheme to look at ways of smoothing the workings of satellite navigation systems, to eliminate problems such as HGVs being sent down narrow lanes and becoming wedged under bridges.

Norfolk police said that an investigation into the incident was continuing.

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