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Ignore your sat-nav, drivers warned

By West Briton  |  Posted: June 13, 2013

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DRIVERS are putting their lives at risk by ignoring signs for a new road layout and following sat-nav directions into the path of oncoming traffic.

Despite nine signs near the Plume of Feathers pub in Scorrier, two of which tell them to ignore their sat-nav, motorists try to access the eastbound A30 towards Bodmin via the westbound 'off slip' road.

The confusion prompted Cornwall Council contractor Cormac to bring forward a safety audit and install extra signs.

During the hour-long audit last Tuesday by Cornwall Council, Cormac, police and the Highways Agency, three drivers made the same error.

Scorrier Cornwall councillor Mark Kaczmarek, who attended the audit, said: "It is only a matter of time before there is an accident. It is extremely dangerous.

"I do not think people are aware when they come off that slip road (from the A30) that they are playing Russian roulette.

"It is a lethal combination of sat-nav not being updated, with the new road layout."

The owner of the Plume of Feathers, Brian Emmett, said up to 100 cars each day have gone past since the new layout was opened three weeks ago, including at least one lorry and a coach. "They realise they have made a mistake and turn around. One day somebody will go straight into oncoming traffic coming off the slip road."

Following the audit, Cormac put four temporary A-frame warning signs in place, adding to two other temporary and three permanent signs there.

But even after that, on Friday, Cormac network manager Peter Tatlow watched another driver stop short of the final 'No entry' sign. "In spite of all of the signs, the gentleman in the 4x4 still headed off in the direction of the A30 off slip," he said.

"He had driven through no fewer than nine signs warning him that there is a new roundabout, that sat-nav instructions are likely to be wrong.

"He told me he was following his sat-nav, and that although he had seen the signs, he couldn't really recall what they said. He also admitted he made exactly the same mistake a couple of weeks ago."

Mr Tatlow said the layout was not dangerous, but a "small minority of drivers pay no attention to the road layout who are dangerous".

Mr Kaczmarek said it could take up to two years for sat-nav software to be updated. For drivers using cheaper sat-navs, with outdated software, the problem will exist for longer.

Considering the looming holiday season, he added: "It only needs one driver to go down that slip road the wrong way and there will be carnage."

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