EVEN the most sophisticated new technology can occasionally send you up a blind alley – or a flooded tunnel.
A satnav-guided motorist was metres from ending a 500-mile journey at Port Talbot steelworks when he drove into deep water. The visitor’s cherished Y-reg Audi A6 is now likely to be a write-off after his satnav failed to tell him that the works’ Penrhyn Street entrance was shut due to five feet of water in the tunnel.
Port Talbot resident Charles Morris who saw Sunday‘s incident said, “Unfortunately, the bright neon sign declaring the Penrhyn Street Entrance to be permanently closed is at the locked gate on the other side of the flooded tunnel. Only weeks ago, a pizza delivery car was stranded under the tunnel.
“The car had entered the tunnel without a problem. By the time the car was ready to leave, the water level in the tunnel had risen enough to stall the car and flood it so it had to be towed out.”
Edmund King, director of the RAC Foundation, said drivers and HGV drivers in particular should never over-rely on satnav systems.
He said, “If used properly they can aid navigation. But you should look at maps before you set out and look at road signs because things do change.”
It follows a string of satnav slip ups across Wales.
Last May, 20-year-old student Paula Ceeley’s Renault Clio was shredded by the Swansea-to-Pembroke train near Whitland after her satnav led to her onto the line.
She said, “I had never done the journey before so I was using the satnav, completely dependent on it.”
Other incidents include:
Professional football teams turning up at Swansea City’s mothballed Vetch Field instead of the new Liberty Stadium four miles away at Landore;
Garw Community Council, Maesteg, agreeing to pay for warning signs on the lane from Moel Gilau towards Shwt after a 44-tonne lorry became jammed;
Near Abergwyngregyn, in Gwynedd, residents had to knock down a neighbour’s wall to free a lorry that had become wedged in a lane;
The A48 near St Hilary in the Vale of Glamorgan became the first spot in Britain to have purpose made satnav warning signs for lorries after they were directed into the village’s narrow lanes as a short cut to Cardiff Wales Airport.