Government pays to end sat-nav wrong turns

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Whitehall is spending £3 million on charting the UK's roads to try to prevent vehicles going down unnavigable roads.

With 200,000 miles of network covered, it will be the most detailed map of the UK available.

Ordnance Survey will use the data from the government and information from local councils – for details on speed limits, cycle lanes and road amendments – to produce an in-depth database for sat nav manufacturers to use in their navigation software.

This national digital road map will be regularly updated to account for changes to the highways, roadworks and temporary speed limits.

The move comes after the Department for Transport revealed that 52 per cent of drivers were now using satellite navigation over paper maps, often leading to mishaps as the systems are unaware of upcoming restrictions.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, told The Times: "Ministers have proposed that using a sat nav become part of the driving test, so they have an interest in the technology being 100 per cent accurate.

"We all want to have faith in technology, but some of us do so a little too blindly."

OS will sell this detailed database to the sat nav manufacturers, but will provide it for free to state institutes, such as the emergency services.

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: "This new digital map will help to make Britain easier to navigate, keep traffic moving and help motorists get to their destinations quicker.

"It will also help businesses, reducing time and money wasted by drivers taking roads unsuitable for their vehicles."

Written by Jack Healy