The Source of Insightful Mapping

Case study

Case study: Why Freight Gateway?

When freight operators lack access to crucial road and routing information, the implications can be costly – as the following story of one French lorry driver who took a very wrong turn in Wiltshire illustrates....

lorry1_1.jpgThe vehicle’s driver attempted to turn round in a quiet residential cul-de-sac in Manton in January this year and became stuck for over five hours. The incident caused damage to two residents’ driveways and required the attendance of police and vehicle recovery teams.

The driver ended up on quiet Bergamot Close after re-setting his sat nav to avoid a traffic jam on the A346. He eventually ended up at a sign saying ‘No HGVs’ and was forced to make his ill-fated attempt at turning round.

lorry2.jpgThe costs of the recovery and repairing the damage are expected to run into thousands of pounds for replacing the driveways, police recovery, the recovery vehicle hire and the damage to a small bridge which was unsuitable for HGVs.  The haulage company is expected to pick up the tab.

The Freight Gateway to safer routing

All the driver needed to avoid this costly mistake was access to the right information on current local restrictions and authorised routes for the type of vehicle being driven. And that’s exactly what PIE’s online mapping portal, Freight Gateway, provides.

Freight Gateway is currently being used by a number of UK local authorities to help them overcome problems such as rat runs, congestion and accidents involving freight vehicles.

The portal is integrated into councils’ existing websites and provides free up to date information to road hauliers on parking restrictions, narrow roads, rat runs and restricted routes. Councils can add in their own updates on freight hotspots, satnav pinch points and known problem areas.

Businesses can even link their own websites to the service, entering details such as vehicle dimensions and weight in order to generate the right route for the vehicle. Freight Gateway also provides hauliers with other useful data on CPZs, weigh bridges, turning restrictions, problem routes, unsuitable roads and traffic calming measures.

Freddie Talberg, Chief Executive of PIE said: “It’s all about helping hauliers to avoid unsuitable routes for their vehicles – and it’s proving a vital tool in councils’ ongoing efforts to put in place proper freight strategies and reduce road traffic incidents involving lorries.

“In 2009 in the UK there were 7,400 accidents involving HGVs which caused serious or fatal injuries to people. Thankfully, no one was hurt in this incident but it’s still unclear who will foot the bill for the damage caused.

“Britain’s road infrastructure, bridges and motorways are buckling under the strain. As this incident shows a lack of relevant, up to date information led to an accident that could have been avoided.

“We all rely on lorries to transport the essential goods and produce we need. But it’s vital proper information is available to minimise the negative impacts of HGV vehicles. A system like Freight Gateway means drivers can be sure they’re following the safest and most efficient route possible.”