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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 April 2006, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
Drivers on edge over cliff route
Road sign to Crackpot, North Yorkshire [picture: The Northern Echo]
One sat-nav firm has now removed Crackpot from its database
Drivers following satellite navigation systems through a village called Crackpot have been directed along a track at the edge of a 100ft cliff.

Cars, minibuses and trucks have taken the steep, twisty road from Swaledale to Wensleydale in North Yorkshire.

When vehicles become stuck, drivers are reversing perilously close to the cliff edge, say worried locals.

Carol Porter, 39, who lives at Summer Lodge Farm, said: "We want this sorting out before something terrible happens."

She said that she and her husband Steven, 41, who live next to the track, have been helping at least one driver a week.

"When they get grounded on the small boulders, we're having to go up there in the tractor and pull them out," said Mrs Porter.

"If we're outside, we try to stop them, but it's a public right of way so we can't put any signs up saying no entry."

We get a lot of sales reps in posh cars coming and they get so cross
Farmer Carol Porter

The couple want to see the track removed from the route recommended by satellite navigation systems for travelling between Swaledale and Wensleydale.

She said: "The drivers are going up and through the gate on to the gravel track.

"You can see it goes from Tarmac to the stones - and it's only just passable with 4x4s.

"But we get a lot of sales reps in posh cars coming and they get so cross.

"We're three miles off the main road and having to turn them back and tell them to take a different road, they're getting really frustrated."

Even an Argos delivery truck had to turn round at Christmas when it was faced with the track, she said.

"It's only a matter of time before something happens - and it's a 100ft drop over the edge."

Database change

Grinton Parish Council has now asked North Yorkshire County Council to look into the problem and see if safety signs can be erected.

A county council spokesman said: "We will look at the signing issue and any appropriate action that needs to be taken will be taken."

A spokeswoman for Trafficmaster, which makes the Smartnav system, said it had removed any possibility of through-routes making use of Crackpot from its mapping database after tests on Wednesday morning.

She added: "The tests showed if you keyed in Crackpot as a destination then you would be sent along this route but it would not have been used as a through-route on our system.

"We believe our system would not have been responsible for taking motorists on unsuitable roads in the first place."

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