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Technology drives unwary motorists round the Dales bend

[Wednesday 05 April 2006]

Modern technology is driving motorists round the bend as they make their way through the tiny Dales hamlet of Crackpot.

The latest craze for harried drivers - satellite navigation - is directing unwary off-cumdens on to a steep, unclassified road near the sleepy Swaledale hamlet.

Unbeknown to the salesmen and delivery men - including an Argos delivery van - who have being caught out and think that their expensive equipment is showing them the fastest route; the road is actually impassable for normal vehicles and has a 100 foot drop on one side.

Built by the Romans the road has tratitionally been used by horses and carts, as well as the odd 4x4, and local man Steven Porter, whose Summer Lodge Farm lies at the start of the track, has noticed an increase in the number of vehicles trying their luck in the past few months.

"I wondered what was happening, then one fellow who was stuck told me his satellite navigation system had brought him there," he said.

"They must have all got sat-navs for Christmas."

According to locals, many drivers simply ignore the no through road sign, open the gate and continue along the track which links Swaledale with Wensleydale.

It is then a matter of the local Dales farmers riding to the rescue on their trusty tractor to rescue the stranded motorists.

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