Narrow country lanes - again (and again!)



  • mrpj3
    mrpj3 Registered Users Posts: 132
    Outstanding Explorer
    Rhubarb1 wrote:
    I have just driven from the West Country to East Anglia and have experienced exactly as described above. Deviation from roads through narrow country roads only to re-emerge back onto the same A road. I found it easier to switch off and ask my wife who was a passenger to guide me using a map. It rather defeats the object of having the sat nav. Tom Tom really must resolve this.

    No hope and Bob Hope spring to mind. One of them died years ago too.
  • Blacknest
    Blacknest Registered Users Posts: 5
    Apprentice Traveler
    Adding my voice to the growing chorus: we had the same problem on a trip to Shropshire a couple of weeks ago - lanes so small that it was scary. We eventually stopped and bought a road atlas.

    Then to make matters worse, I've found that since the last update (installed about a month ago) TomTom is now using our lane (i.e the one our house is on) as a regular route
    to cut the corner between two main roads. It's a couple of miles of single lane, only 2 or 3 passing points, with high hedges either side and a very narrow bridge. If you meet another car you sometimes need to reverse a long way before the lane is wide enough to pass. Even if you don't meet another car, it's still slower than using the main roads.

    Unfortunately I don't think there's anything that can be done about this - TomTom aren't listening. It's obviously a policy decision that's been made at the corporate level, for whatever reason - possibly a marketing plan to get us to buy more expensive versions, or (more likely in my opinion) falling demand for stand-alone satnavs means they can no longer afford to do anything sophisticated (like distinguishing between B-roads and country lanes), and have to rely on one-size-fits-all software routines instead of expensive staff.

    Are any of the other satnavs any better? Or are they all in the same dire straits?
  • mrpj3
    mrpj3 Registered Users Posts: 132
    Outstanding Explorer
    "Are any of the other satnavs any better? Or are they all in the same dire straits?"

    In my experience, yes to the first sentence and no to the second.
    Although one of the other brands that I can't mention does have inferior traffic.
    Some Smartphone apps too are better at routing but less effective traffic and up to date roadworks etc..
  • Blacknest
    Blacknest Registered Users Posts: 5
    Apprentice Traveler
    Such a shame - we've been really happy with our 3 TomToms over the last few years. I just wish I could roll back to a previous version somehow!
  • MadEnglish
    MadEnglish Registered Users Posts: 4
    Neophyte Traveler
    BrianE wrote:
    This of course begs the question, if it's possible to select motorways to be avoided, why can't unclassified roads be selected? How can this be "related to map data" and be "rather complicated issues to investigate" or is the map data that c**p that it's not possible to know whether a road is an A/B road or not? Either way, this is totally unsatisfactory for any satellite navigation device, let alone these expensive units, which not only can't plan a sensible route but also can't hold a battery charge for more than half an hour or so if you're lucky. Perhaps we should start lobbying the elected members of the government to consider having these devices banned until they are fit for purpose as they are potentially putting people's lives at risk, even in the daytime, let alone at night. As for my GO 5100, it can stay in its box in the loft, ready to go on e-bay or maybe the bin as I'm not entirely comfortable asking someone to part with their hard-earned money for this overpriced piece of [add your own expletive to suit].
    I'd back your call for Government inquiry into this issue, definitely dangerous put me in a blind spot yesterday in Cornwall luckily just a near miss.
  • LC123
    LC123 Registered Users Posts: 31
    Renowned Wayfarer

    So no reply from TomTom on this subject?

    Of course avoiding narrow lanes is easily achievable, they do it already, they have all the data and the algorithms for avoiding various types of road in the their HGV satnav (

    So all the "looking into it" is nothing more than a fob off, and basically TomTom are deliberately getting their cheaper non commercial products to use lanes to make them completely unattractive to commercial drivers. A bit like a nag screen on free software to get you to upgrade, they add in lanes to our routes on purpose, and so will never give the option to avoid them.

    TomTom are just trying to squeeze as much cash out of this segment of the industry before their demise as we all switch to smart phones, but all that is doing is making their demise all the more likely, so a self fulfilling prophecy.

    I just wish Google would bring out a dedicated sat-nav using their technology.
  • LC123
    LC123 Registered Users Posts: 31
    Renowned Wayfarer

    Found an interesting setting that changed the routing. A journey I make in the UK has TomTom telling me to leave the A6 by doing a "rat run" taking me through narrow roads, built up areas etc, not a pleasant drive, to just join the A6 further up. I've done the trip a few times and followed TomToms instruction and as the rat run was always fairly busy, just assumed it was a decent shortcut, but later found Google Maps kept me on the A6, and on a few tests changing the route found that stressful rat run made seconds difference and wasn't worth the stress.

    By chance I turned on a setting under route planning to "Avoid unpaved roads". Now when I plan the same route, it keeps me on the A6 and off the rat run. It should be noted the rat run isn't lanes as such (they are narrow but you can always pass cars) and certainly not unpaved. Still this setting is avoiding the narrow country lane type roads, and it's repeatable, turn it off it routes using that so called short cut, turn it on and I stay on the A6, often with the route journey time being exactly the same, and no longer than a minute extra at most.

    Might be helpful to others to turn this setting on, as it seems to avoid more than just unpaved roads, it seems to then favour more decent roads or A roads.
  • Lost_Soul
    Lost_Soul Registered Users Posts: 481
    Supreme Pioneer

    I have from the very beginning of my TT ownership always selected the "Avoid unpaved roads" but I have not had the results you have highlighted and my 6200 almost delights into taking me down these "narrow lanes" .

    It was so irritating that I purchased the "Camper" map in an attempt to overcome this shortcoming, thinking that if I selected that I was driving a Large Heavy Motorhome but found that unless I selected that I was driving a 44 tonne Truck it totally ignored all other permutations of length/width/ weight..........

    - it did work well on avoiding height restrictions :grinning:

    I advised Customer service of this and several other limitations of the Camper map in the summer of 2018 and was told " this case is under investigation and currently we do not have a solution for this issue" :thinking:

    Still waiting for an update and solution:persevere:
  • LC123
    LC123 Registered Users Posts: 31
    Renowned Wayfarer
    @Lost Soul

    Perhaps it is just a fluke on that rat run route and somewhere there is a road marked (incorrectly) as unpaved, so the setting is then avoiding it.

    I will see how it goes. Google Maps never offered me that short cut, but TomTom did even though their own algorithm shows it must have only been seconds to a minute faster yet it is all twist and turns and narrow roads you have to slow down for each car coming in the opposite direction to ensure you pass okay, I'd rather just stick to the main road, which if anything probably is quicker most of the time. This is a 1 minute time saving against a total journey time of 2 hours and makes no difference overall, and I think we'd all prefer to take a minute longer for the sake of an easier drive.

    Their algorithm should be clever enough to check if leaving an A road only to rejoin the same road a bit further along by comparing how much quicker is it than just staying on the same road. Unless the time reduction is a significant saving (perhaps user configurable), it simply shouldn't offer that route. If Google Maps can do it, why can't TomTom?

    I also suspect that by setting every road with a national speed limit that isn't an A road to an average speed of say 40mph rather than thinking we'll all do 60mph, would also remove them from most planned routes as well. Again this could be user configurable under the route planning settings.

    For what is TomTom's core business, route planning, it just doesn't seem very sophisticated does it.
  • Gorrig
    Gorrig Registered Users Posts: 1
    New Seeker
    It happens all the time. I got in an almighty mess between Crickhowell and Talkybont-on-Usk when I was towing a caravan. We also use it a lot in the horse box which is a bit more forgiving that towing a caravan but still causes problems.
  • DougLap
    DougLap Posts: 10,116
    Hi @Gorrig

    The GO5200 that you have listed in your profile is for a Car. I have the GO Camper and you can put in vehicle dimensions on that and whether it is a caravan or Motorhome and the routing varies from what my GO5200 would suggest

  • rcpilot
    rcpilot Registered Users Posts: 63
    Apprentice Traveler
    The only solution is to use a camper map where the device allows you to input your outfits dimentions, so for narrow lanes make sure you input a dimension that is larger than the narrow lane and the tomtom will not use that road. I have a via 135 and it allows you to block roads of your choice so that it does not use those roads when calculating a route and those roads remain in it's brains for all times until you choose to take them out. I am currently in touch with customer support because I am thinking of up grading my 135 to the Go Camper but would like to know if the "(un)block" road function is available in the Go Camper, if it is not then I will definately NOT be buying one. An example is Winnats pass in the peak district, that road is used to get to Chaple En Le Frith but if you are towing a caravan and use Winnats pass there is no place to turn around and you are stuck so I blocked it in its brains and it selects another route. Even using a camper map sometimes does not work, example :- Lodge lane, again peak district, 3/4 of the way up this incline is a hairpin bend unpassable unless you move over into oncomeing traffic very dangerous, I increased the length of my outfit in an experiment and even with a length of over 50 meters the tomtom still used lodge lane so it got blocked in its brains. If tomtom have removed the facility to block and unblock roads of your choice in the latest sat navs then I think it is a step backwards in the usability of these sat navs