Lorries are causing "delays, destruction and distress" in Essex due to a lack of enforcement of HGV drivers using sat-navs and the Government must change its approach, an Uttlesford councillor has said.

Uttlesford district councillors passed a motion on Tuesday, July 18 which proposed that a letter should be sent to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak about the issue.

Council members stressed the need for the introduction of stricter rules on the use of HGV-specific sat nav technology in rural areas, which are often not equipped for the passage of large vehicles.

At present, there is no legislation which makes the use of HGV-specific sat navs compulsory, despite  the technology being widely available. 

Information and routes are optimised for the vehicle type and dimensions, as well as the load which is being transported.

Councillor Susan Barker (Con, High Easter & The Rodings), presenting the motion, noted the "delays, destruction and distress" caused by lorries becoming stuck or damaging structures such as railway bridges.

She said that the council should "put (the problem) on the government’s radar", as incidents have been known to cause widespread chaos for locals and motorists.


However, it is not the first time that HGVs have been blamed for travel bedlam.

In May, rail network c2c released CCTV footage of a lorry driving fast through a railway crossing between Pitsea and Stanford-le-Hope, with its load tearing through and destroying the overhead cables running along the tracks.

Commuters experienced severe distruption to their journeys, and several train services between Pitsea and Stanford were cancelled while engineers repaired the damage.

Councillor Heather Asker (Residents for Uttlesford, Saffron Walden Castle) said that although Cllr Barker’s motion was "very apt", the problem extends beyond lorry drivers’ use of sat nav technology intended for normal vehicles.

She said: "It’s a much bigger picture than just needing special sat navs."

Cllr Asker said that driver error and assumed familiarity with an area also contributes to incidents occurring, and that "drivers need to be held to account".