Tom Tom nightmare
Nine thirty on August Bank holiday evening, a ring on the front door bell. We find a well dressed Indian gentleman standing there.
‘Good evening sir’ he says. I reply ‘good evening to you’, thinking well, what is he going to try and sell me at this time of evening?
‘Please can you tell me how to get to London?’ he asks. ‘Err, yes’ says I, wondering just how.
It transpires that he, and his family, wife and three children had driven from North London in their people carrier leaving at 4.00pm aiming for Cardiff. Now completely lost in the wilderness, they had given up and decided to go back home. But they were trapped in Hankerton and they had no idea which way to go.
It was at this point that his wife proudly showed me that they had a Satnav and they, so they thought, had carefully followed its every instruction. Now they found themselves in a hamlet where all the roads were narrow and the satnav was instructing them to use ‘Down Lane’ ( Post Office Lane or Five Lane ).
The roads to them were so narrow that they were sure they must be ‘one way’ but they did not know which and they were not prepared to risk breaking the law.
What had happened I surmise is that they came down the M4 and at Swindon they were sent towards Gloucester. Why you may ask. Well the satnav had been set to avoid tolls and of course the Bridges were coming up. When they realised that they were not on a motorway they took a side road and from then on it is a mystery until Hankerton.
I suppose the moral is ‘do not rely on technology alone, use your common sense and a map as well’ Anyway we took them to the M4 and said ‘stick to the motorway and pay your tolls’ Apparently it worked because we received a phone call next day to say all was well and they arrived in Cardiff before midnight.