Council Motion: Lorry drivers must use commercial satnavs, say local Lib Dem councillors

Keeping HGVs off unsuitable roads

Council notes:

  • The damage done to many smaller roads, especially villages and rural areas, by HGV lorries using roads that are too small for them and the work done by the Local Government Association to highlight this problem.
  • Lorry satnavs are like normal car satnavs, but they include bridge heights, narrow roads, and roads unsuitable for trucks. In addition, they allow the driver to enter the lorry’s dimensions – height, width, weight and load – so they are only guided along suitable roads.
  • That Councils outside London and Wales are currently prevented from taking enforcement action for the minority of lorry drivers who flout weight and width restrictions, as the Government have failed to bring Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 into force for Councils in the rest of England.
  • That recent incidents in our area include [INSERT ANY GOOD LOCAL EXAMPLES HERE]

Council calls for:

  • The Government to bring Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 into force for all relevant English councils with immediate effect so enforcement action can be taken against lorries who use unsuitable roads.
  • The Government to legislate so all HGVs and large vehicles install suitable sat-navs designed for lorries.
  • The Chief Executive to write to our local MP[s] and the Secretary of State for Transport to bring Part 6 of the 2004 Traffic Management Act into force and to support mandatory use of suitable satnavs for HGVs and other large vehicles.


Draft press release from earlier this year – but this is still a live issue so worth using if you haven’t done so already:

Lorry drivers must use commercial satnavs, say councils, after catalogue of chaos

All lorry drivers who use satnavs should be compelled to use commercial models say Liberal Democrats – following a fresh catalogue of chaos on the nation’s roads.

Local Lib Dem Councillor [YOUR NAME HERE] has tabled a motion calling on [YOUR NAME COUNCIL] to support the measure. [YOUR NAME] said: “While the majority of lorry drivers are reputable and responsible, a minority cut corners by using cheaper satnavs designed for cars.”

Villages and rural communities across the country have been blighted by a recent spate of lorry smashes. A historic bridge in one part of the country had to be closed for months – with £200,000 damage – after a driver reportedly drove a truck 10 times the structure’s weight limit over it. Lorries have ripped off their roofs on low bridges, and wedged themselves in historic town centres causing mayhem. Another driver whose lorry was emblazoned with ‘phenomenal’ was anything but – he got stuck in a narrow street, forcing a picturesque village to grind to a halt.

Lorry satnavs are like normal car ones, but they include bridge heights, narrow roads, and roads unsuitable for trucks. In addition, they allow the driver to enter the lorry’s dimensions – height, width, weight and load – so they are only guided along suitable roads. However, they are typically slightly more expensive than ones designed for cars.

The cross-party Local Government Association wants councils to also be able to fine lorry drivers who flout weight restrictions. Lorries of a certain weight or width are banned from many minor roads but the police do not always have the resources to enforce the restrictions. The Government has handed powers under the Traffic Management Act (2004) to local authorities in Wales, and London (under different legislation), to take action if lorry drivers break the law. Councils across the country must also be given the ability to enforce weight and width restrictions where there are hotspots of abuse in their communities by issuing fines.

The LGA wants the Government to enable councils to take enforcement action where necessary. Councils up and down the country are already working with communities to tackle the issue by organising lorry watch schemes. They are also working with freight and haulage companies to ensure that lorries use the most suitable routes and roads.

Lib Dem campaigner [YOUR NAME HERE] said: “The money collected from the fines could be put towards tackling the local pothole backlog.

“There has been a spate of recent accidents involving lorry drivers driving irresponsibly and causing chaos. The Government must start taking this issue more seriously and give [OUR COUNCIL] the tools to help their communities and other motorists.


“It is common sense that all lorry drivers should use satnavs designed for trucks, but this is only going to become a reality when it is a mandatory requirement. We are talking about a very small extra cost to drivers.

“Lorry drivers who get wedged in narrow roads or under bridges not only endanger themselves, other road users and pedestrians, but also cause massive disruption. This has a significant impact on local economies, particularly in rural areas.

“We’re fed-up with lorries ignoring weight restrictions and using streets that are not designed for them. The additional noise, vibration and pollution make people’s lives miserable.

“I appreciate that most lorry drivers are reputable and drive responsibly. These powers would be targeted at the minority who do not follow the law. This is also about protecting the drivers’ safety as well as the safety of residents and other road users.”


1. The Traffic Management Act 2004 (part 6), provides for councils to be given the powers to enforce weight limits and width restrictions, but central Government has not yet passed the necessary secondary legislation to bring it into force in England. The Welsh Government has done so and councils (and Transport for London) in the capital have powers.

2. Truck Sat Nav: Truck satnav are like normal sat navs, but with one major difference and that is they include bridge heights, narrow roads, roads unsuitable for HGVs and large vehicles, etc.


MARLOW, BUCKS: A lorry driver caused £200,000 damage to historic Marlow Bridge.

BRIDGNORTH, SHROPSHIRE: A lorry brought Bridgnorth to a standstill after becoming wedged on the town’s High Street.

BRUTON, SOMERSET: A lorry driver became the laughing stock of a village when he drove down a narrow lane and became wedged between two buildings.

TETBURY, GLOUCESTERSHIRE: A lorry had its roof ripped off after driving into Thames Head Bridge in Tetbury Road.

MARLBOROUGH, WILTS: A lorry caused a three-mile tailback after it became wedged against a house while attempting to turn a corner.

SALTNEY, CHESTER: A lorry got wedged under the railway bridge in Saltney causing massive delays.

SHEPTON MALLET, SOMERSET: A huge lorry caused chaos in a town after it got wedged tight in a narrow alley.

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