Skip to main content

Satellite Navigation Systems

Volume 524: debated on Thursday 10 March 2011

13. What assessment he has made of the potential for satellite navigation systems to increase the proportion of journeys undertaken by haulage companies using major routes. (45286)

No such assessment has been made by the Department. It is for hauliers to plan their routes and for satellite navigation system providers to provide the technology that ensures that hauliers use the appropriate routeing.

Last weekend I came bonnet to bonnet with a huge articulated lorry in the village of Wingham on a very small rural A road. What can we do through the sat-nav system to distinguish rural A roads from the dual carriageways that lorries should be using?

I am very aware of that problem, because it happens in my constituency as well, but there are new satellite navigation systems specifically for hauliers, which include software to ensure that hauliers stay on their routes. There is no benefit to hauliers in going down side roads, and local authorities have the powers to make weight restrictions if necessary. I will look into the problem in my hon. Friend’s constituency.

Haulage companies that avoid the M62 by travelling between the M1 and Manchester via the Snake and Woodhead passes are one cause of severe congestion in the Longdendale area of my constituency. If the Minister cannot influence that through satellite navigation companies, will he bear in mind the need for some form of bypass in the Longdendale area?

It might be easier to speak to manufacturers of satellite navigation systems than to build a bypass. As I said, software specifically for hauliers is now available, which should alleviate the problem as it rolls out.