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Last Updated: Monday, 9 July 2007, 09:07 GMT 10:07 UK
Sat-nav lorry trapped in village
Lorry stuck in village
A lorry ended up stuck in a narrow street in Mereworth
Renewed calls are being made for warning signs to be put up in a Kent village after a sat-nav system caused a lorry to get stuck in a narrow street.

A Slovenian driver, carrying paper bound for Wales, followed a diversion from the M20, but it took him into a corner of Mereworth, near Maidstone.

Resident Sarah Pascoe said she returned from a Tour de France party to find power cables down outside her home.

Kent Highways Services said it was in talks about the problem.

A statement said: "Beech Road is obviously unsuitable for this vehicle and we are discussing with the parish council how to make foreign drivers more aware of this.

"It would appear this latest incident has happened because the driver was sent there by his satellite navigation system which gives a direct route without taking into account the road condition.

"Kent Highway Services wants to work with the system manufacturer to avoid a repeat in future, as this is an increasing problem with lots of overseas drivers using Kent's busy roads."

'In shock'

The village, which lies just south of the M20, was very close to part of the Tour de France route on Sunday.

Ms Pascoe said it appeared that the driver - who said he was travelling in England for the first time - had been diverted off the motorway by his sat-nav because of local road closures and diversions in place for the cycle race.

She said she understood that some European lorry firms tended to "only invest in car sat-nav", which would not take into account the size of a heavy goods vehicle.

The articulated lorry became wedged tight in a section of Beech Road on Sunday afternoon.

Only the vehicle's cab could be removed from the scene initially, and recovery teams had to return to deal with the trailer on Monday morning.

Council discussions

A BBC Radio Kent reporter at the scene said the driver appeared to be "in shock" over what had happened.

Ms Pascoe said: "The electricity board were out at one o'clock this morning trying to restore electricity and make safe repairs.

"We have had lots of council discussions over the past five years, and we actually made a specific request by e-mail to KCC Highways to ensure there was temporary signage [during the Tour de France] put up at either end of Beech Road.

"We have got a sign saying 'Unsuitable for large vehicles', but some foreign lorry drivers don't understand it - they only understand the red warning signs with an actual width restriction on them."

The lorry that blocked the road was led there by sat-nav

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