Sat nav directions put driver lives at risk during storms

Date: Tuesday 1st May 2018

A CALL has been made for parish councils in Eden to be able to deploy “road closed” signs in their areas in the event of extreme weather conditions.

Phil Dew (Con, Kirkby Stephen) told a meeting of Cumbria County Council’s local committee for Eden that when the A66 trans-Pennine route is closed at Brough, as was the case following the heavy snow in March, motorists — encouraged by their satellite navigation systems — divert to minor roads in order to continue their journey.

“Literally dozens had to be rescued from remote locations late at night — many suffering from hypothermia. Sooner or later someone is going to lose their life on Stainmore,” said Mr Dew.

He said if local councils were able to put out road closure signs, in the absence of police or highways personnel, it would stop people getting stuck on those roads.

“These drivers are not locals, but people travelling through Cumbria, going home to Newcastle, that is the problem,” said Mr Dew.

Helen Fearon (Con, Penrith) said motorists had to take “personal responsibility” for their actions. “This is not something that the emergency services have total control over,” she said.