Sat-navs Increase Railway Damage

Satellite-navigation devices are extremely useful in showing the way to drivers but apparently they are also responsible for causing millions of pounds worth of damage to Britain's railway infrastructure. Or at least this is what the Network Rail claims...

According to an article published in The Daily Express, British motorists tend to focus more on the sat-nav devices and ignore road signs. The railway operator claimed that the number of bridges hit by lorries traveling on unsuitable routes has doubled over the past decade to 2,000 a year and the annual cost of repairing damages to railway bridges has risen to up to £15 million. Pevensey Castle in East Sussex, a 300-year-old cottage in Greater Manchester and a 200-year-old bridge in Oxfordshire are just a few examples of buildings damaged by lorries guided by sat-nav.

Since the situation appears to be pretty alarming, Network Rail's PJ Taylor, speaking on BBC Radio Five Live's Weekend Breakfast Show said they were  working with sat-nav manufacturers and the Highways Agency to come up with a solution.

“We have 21,000 miles of railway in the UK and often it interfaces with the road network and sometimes we have problems where road vehicles hit bridges or turn down level crossings when they shouldn't do,” he said.

“Sat-navs are a great tool but they are just a tool and not an alternative for keeping your wits about you and obeying the road," he added.

In addition, Taylor said that the railway operator were undertaking a project in collaboration with the Highways Agency mapping the low bridges and level crossings. Afterwards, the data can be introduced into the software of the sat-navs.
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