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A result of sat-nav dependency?

Luzern
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A result of sat-nav dependency?

There was a bad crash between two lorries on the M25 yesterday and papers are reporting the local IKEA letting customers use their beds, because they were stranded. Nice!

For about 30 years I lived on the Esses side and 35 on the south side in Kent and E Sussex. This made me think, 'stranded really!'

In my time I reckon I could have found a way, certainly out in to Essex and E.London, and more circuitously to the south side of the Thames via the Woolwich Ferry.

Are drivers so reliant on  their sat-navs, they cannot find their ways without one, or too mean to buy a map ( and understand it, of course). to cover difficulties, or gormlessly frightened to take a chance on local roads until something more promising is found?

Maybe I'm an upcoming Victor Meldrew:shocked:

No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
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Re: A result of sat-nav dependency?

I`m of the same "age"   and thinking....   however.... What you need to consider is that, once on a motorway... which is generally the quickest route... not necessarily the shortest.... and under "normal" circumstances, this is "the" way to go.... The problem with motorway routes, is that should something happen, and the plod decide to close the road completely, so THEY can work at their own pace, DISREGARDING anyone else who needs to be somewhere... ( yeah I know about safety... but they could usually open at least one lane , to facilitate clearing some of the traffic ). 

THEN... you, the mug motorist, is well and truly stuck... NO WAY ... SatNav nor Map reading skill, will enable you to take an alternative route, if you are in that section already stopped...

EVEN BIGGER gripe against the plod.... and the way motorways are constructed, is... they ( plod , or Highways England)... do not have any system or procedure for closing prior access ramps, to that motorway.... preferring, to keep the mug motorist "parked up" on the motorways, rather than clogging up adjacent routes to bypass the problem.

There should be barriers, or traffic light control at every junction access point... so that the number of motrorists stuck on the motorway is reduced... and IF the plod decide that they need all day and half the night to work through ,... then they should arrange convoys of reverse traffic down the hard shoulder to allow people to get on with their lives.... rather than be unnecessarily detained by the police, for an indefinte period, against their will,....  akin to being arrested, on suspicion, and not charged, or being kidnapped, without any ransom being demanded.

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Re: A result of sat-nav dependency?


@Luzern wrote:

 

Are drivers so reliant on  their sat-navs, they cannot find their ways without one, or too mean to buy a map ( and understand it, of course). to cover difficulties, or gormlessly frightened to take a chance on local roads until something more promising is found?

Maybe I'm an upcoming Victor Meldrew:shocked:


Dear Victor..........:smiley:

Bit harsh on the sat nav.....the more modern sat navs and mobile phone sat nav apps warn you in advance of slow traffic or indeed a accident ahead and of alternative routes.

I fully accept that if you do get stuck in traffic then a sat nav or even a map cannot help you and I agree with the points @shutter makes. if alone in the car should you even be consulting a map ?

My main gripe about motorways are the miles and miles of cones blocking one or even two lanes off for road works and not a single person in sight doing any work...what's all that about the government are so fixed on targets they should set target dates for the work to be completed and if work continues much after that date without good reason future contracts given to other firms.

ffox
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Re: A result of sat-nav dependency?

If you can get to IKEA in Thurrock you aren't stuck and should be able to find an alternative route.  But as there is no way of finding out how long the delay is going to be, it might be quicker to wait rather than cross most of London via the Blackwall Tunnel/Woolwich Ferry or the bridges further West. I had to do this once when the Tunnel was blocked (no QE2 Bridge in those days) and it took me nearly 2 hours longer than usual to get to Caterham.

Shutter makes a very valid point - if you hit a jam between junctions on a motorway you are stuck, even if you are a champion map-reader.

I've encountered 4 different sat-nav brands so far. They all had traffic info and would suggest an escape route if there was one they deemed viable.  Also, if you expanded the maps they would show side roads.  Some people won't know how to operate them fully the same way that some people can't map-read. You do have a point though - I reckon that because sat-navs work so well in normal conditions many people haven't bothered to get to grips with map-reading. 

 

 

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Re: A result of sat-nav dependency?

I had reason to drive from my home to an area outside Chesterfield, a trip of about 9 miles.

I had a quick look on Google maps and had a reasonable idea of my route.

However I set up my sat-nav just in case.

Heading down a 'B' road in Derbyshire my sat-nav suddenly said "In 100 yards turn left", so I did.

The 'road' I turned onto went between two fields and then into the forest you see in the picture below.

Unthank Lane.JPG

 

This continued for about 2 miles and I was thinking 'will I ever get out of this or end up in someone's garage.

I met one car coming the other way and we managed to squeeze past each other.

I came up behind a large tractor carrying bales of hay travelling at 5mph for 1/4 mile.

Fortunately I eventually arrived at my destination after a journey of 1 mile less than the 'B' road route as indicated on Google maps.

The shortest route is definitely not the quickest when sat-navs are involved.

PS the road in the photo is called Unthank lane and it gets no thanks from me.

 

Having said all that, as my near sight is not as good as it once was I've invested in a Garmin 32" sat nav.

 

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Luzern
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Re: A result of sat-nav dependency?

@shutter Did you enjoy your rantlet about Mr Plod and Highways England? Grin I take your point on being stuck with no way out, but at IKea that was not so.

Your thoughts on traffic lights on access roads is a good one, but to aid the drivers something to guide their diversions might be needed. Germany has had a system of Umleitungen for many years, http://www.gettingaroundgermany.info/zeichen2.shtml.  They’re set up permanently, and even back years their radio info was, I believe, good. But being bloody with our, ‘it wasn’t made here.....!

@gleneagles Yes, cones are annoying, when no one appears to be working, but that might be superficially unnecessary, because matters have to proceed according to a plan and workers may be engaged elsewhere on site, where more needed. Down my way a dual carriage way in to Bournemouth was being completely dug up and renewed. Lots of comments were made on ‘ why aren’t they working 24/7’. I thought, no way with some drivers about at night.

Finally, I don’t think continually setting and removing those cones is a good idea. It may produce  more disruption each time.

@ffox Agreed there’s no way of knowing how long the hold up will be, but once it’s known the nature of the event, I’d bet on much longer than shorter. Besides being on the move even if the journey time is extended I’d find considerably more calming.

Are all sat-navs updatable? I have heard that the  fitted ones tend not to be, or can be at considerable expense. That’s good for two year change merchants only.

I drive little now, but have always wanted to know something about route options. That applied too to public transport, especially in the BR days of frequent strikes on my London commutes.

 

No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
Luzern
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Re: A result of sat-nav dependency?

@Strat Not a mile from me a road that is impassible was given as a route out of town, but also what if there's no signal, or a new road  emerges and your version is not utd? Both can lead to driving blind for some distance.

No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
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Re: A result of sat-nav dependency?

@Luzern Did I "enjoy" my rant about plod and Highways England?   Hardly the word I would choose....  However.. It really does annoy me, that the Police, seem to think that THEY are the only one`s that should be "unhindered" in their work, at accident scenes... that THEY should be able to detain "innocent" members of the public FOR HOURS ON END, to achieve their ends.  Without any consideration towards the General Public and the needs ot those detained,... i.e.  food and drink..toilet facilities???  ....  during detention.. or ensuring that they can travel onwards to their destination, WHICH.. incidentally, generally means to their workplace, or to a hospital, or wherever...

The police, often use the term, "Obstructing the police, in the execution of their duties".... why does this term only apply one sidedly in favour of the police? 

The police are obstructing the general public from going about their business, or duties, by detaining them for no reason, other than to facilitate THE POLICE carrying out their duties

In the USA , where they have similar accidents... the priority is for the police to carry out their initial duties of investigation as quick as possible, and to reopen the road as soon as possible... usually in less than an hour, from what I have seen and heard on television reports.

Fortunately, I have never been involved in an accident, nor have I been held up because of one... although I have often seen a tailback on motorways and major dual carriageways, and been able to "divert" myself, onto another route, before getting "sucked in" to the hold up.  sometimes, that has involved an extra hour on my journey, but that has not bothered me... the fact that I am not sitting there, detained outweighs THAT inconvenience.

The Police should be made to be acccountable for the "loss of earnings".. of all those who lose a days work ( self employed people).. or lose a days pay.. ( those who should be at work but cannot get there).,  or even lose their job, because of "non attendance".. not forgetting those who miss their flight, and have to pay for another one, ....If they had to pay out for those things, whenever they decide to close a road for hours on end.. then they would soon start to "get on with the job" as quickly as possible, even to the extent of opening one lane... to relieve the traffic held up. 

And before anyone mentions it..... YES... I do respect the police.... and I do understand there may well be "safety aspects" that need to be considered, when they are working on a major road, and that possibly there will be re-surfacing that needs to be done... but.... even with all those "annoyances".... the police should be also considering how to reopen the road within ( say ) 30 minutes, so that traffic can at least be moving instead of static...  even going to the extent of removing some section of the central crash barrier *(which is only bolted to each other,) ... putting cones out on the opposite carriageway and by-passing the accident scene)

Unfortunately.... there does not seem to be any "co-ordinated" action between the Police, and the Highways to facilitate the onward movement of traffic past an accident scene...  so , they just say... STOP... and STAY THERE... until we let you to move....

 

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Re: A result of sat-nav dependency?

Reading the link in the OP it appears that the people who slept in IKEA were customers of the store or surrounding stores who found the local roads gridlocked. I know the area well and, like any major business parks, getting caught in heavy traffic at rush hour can be problematic. But this accident happened at 2pm. I would imagine many of the local roads were still reasonably clear for some time and there are many ways out of the area - although journey times could be considerably increased.

 

I think map-reading should be compulsory in schools rather than blindly relying on sat-navs. I'm lucky as my parents taught me to read maps at a very early age and I found it interesting. Plus, I am like my dad; a quick look at a map - be it physical (did anyone ever fold those maps back properly) or Google maps, etc. then I relied on my sense of direction and memory. I rarely need recourse to a sat-nav. SWMBO, on the other hand, relies on her sat-nav to go  places she has been many times before:cheesy:

 

As for the police taking their time to clear the area just sit back, put some music on and chill out while you wait. Getting het up is liable to lead a driver to race to their destination potentially causing more accidents. As most people have a mobile with them it's pretty easy to contact those that need to be told of delays.

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Luzern
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Re: A result of sat-nav dependency?

@shutter I said rantlet, meaning a teeny-weeny rant. You're too cultured for anything else. Grin

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Luzern
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Re: A result of sat-nav dependency?

TBH I can't think why pps want to go to IKEA, let alone with kids.:evil::crazy2:

No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
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Re: A result of sat-nav dependency?


@Mav wrote:

 

 

As for the police taking their time to clear the area just sit back, put some music on and chill out while you wait.


 I agree with almost all you say.... apart from the line above.....

Not a problem, to sit and chill out,... if it is only going to be for a short period, (say 30 mins or so)... but once it gets past that , then it becomes increasingly difficult for many people, who are on legitimate journeys, to work, to hospital, to airports, even just out visiting placess, to be detained by the police for no reason, other than as stated... the police claim an accident area as their own province, and no matter what, nobody, but nobody, will enter that area without their permission...

.. It is still a PUBLIC ROAD or HIGHWAY, and should be treated as sucn, not as an "out door office" by the police.

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Re: A result of sat-nav dependency?

A bit OT, I know, but has always seemed to me, that the Thames is to some a great continental divide rather than just a river. After I married and moved from Essex to Kent it was nearly always us visiting them. It could've been our genial personalities, or some never ventured far anyhow. OTOH that as a kid/youth a sibling had married and her partner's jobs took him across  that divide, so that we had to bus from our home to Manor Park, get another to North Woolwich, often delayed by ships entering or leaving Albert Docks, then take the Ferry, and finally a trolleybus. I enjoyed it, but others?

Something else, metropolitans and suburbanites appear to have different distance concept than those who live further out. To me any trip under ten miles is nothing, but met folk who lived just about five miles from the Woolwich Ferry and Foot Tunnel, who were ignorant of it as a link to the north side and Stratford a few miles beyond.

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Luzern
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Re: A result of sat-nav dependency?

Yet again! :shocked::rolleyes: Is it drivers, road overload or....? At sometime wasn't there a plan for yet another crossing, say, near the defunct Tilbury- Gravesend? vehicle ferry?

 

 

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Re: A result of sat-nav dependency?

During my years of driving using an A to Z, I have, more than once come across road closures due to road works meaning I had to find a safe place to pull over and recalculate my route from the map.

Sometimes a safe place was 3 or 4 miles down the road.

A GPS device would have done that instantly

Looking down at a paper map while driving is not recommended but the voice instructions from a sat-nav are better than having a 'co-pilot' reading the map for you especially if the 'co-pilot' is the wife whose only interest is getting there in one piece and on time and considers map reading to be a silly man thing.

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