Drivers told to ignore sat nav after East Lothian accidents

Motorists are being urged to avoid using their sat navs on a stretch of road in East Lothian after a series of accidents. Picture: Robert Perry
Motorists are being urged to avoid using their sat navs on a stretch of road in East Lothian after a series of accidents. Picture: Robert Perry
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DRIVERS are being urged to ignore sat nav instructions after a series of accidents on a country road.

The closure of the main route into Cockenzie and Port Seton, from the A1, has seen drivers heading on a narrow road as their sat navs send them away from the official diversion.

But it has led to reports of a number of accidents on the road, with a serious collision on Wednesday, leading to emergency services being called.

Residents are now calling on East Lothian Council to put up temporary traffic lights on the unofficial route to avoid further accidents after the local authority revealed the main route closure had been extended.

However, East Lothian Council has issued an appeal to motorists to follow the official diversion signs.

A council spokesperson said: “The diversion is the safest route taking into account traffic volumes, flow and road speeds, and we would encourage all drivers to use it, instead of a sat nav system or their own local knowledge.”

The Coal Road, which leads into Cockenzie and Port Seton from the A1, has been closed to allow the Coal Authority to carry out work on an area of subsidence on its carriageway. A diversion is in place taking traffic through neighbouring Prestonpans.

But a quicker route is being offered by sat nav devices taking motorists down Fishergate Road.

Ambulance teams were called shortly after 1pm on Wednesday after two cars collided at the junction with Seton Farm Shop on the country lane.

Police temporarily closed the road as debris from the damaged vehicles was cleared and recovery vehicles brought in. No one required hospital treatment.

Residents said the accident was the latest in a number of collisions and near-misses since the diversion was introduced less than a fortnight ago.

One said: “It is frightening the speed people are taking on that road, especially when they do not know it. Temporary traffic lights should be brought in before someone is seriously hurt.”

Another added: “Some of the drivers are driving far too fast round the bends and a lot are unaware of the narrow bridge section until it is too late.”

One person questioned the length of time of the closure, which has now been extended: “How long does it take to fill a hole in a road?”

A council spokesperson said the Coal Road would remain closed until next month. They said: “The Coal Authority has advised that remedial works to tackle subsidence on the B6371 Coal Plant Road won’t be completed until early November.

“The signed diversion route will remain in place until this time.”