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First ever digital map dataset showing weight, width and height restriction applying to road bridges in Great Britain to be launched by Ordnance Survey

United Kingdom, 4 October 2006: Ordnance Survey is launching the first ever digital map dataset showing the weight, width and height restriction applying to road bridges in Great Britain. More than 110,000 bridges have been surveyed for what promises to be an invaluable single information source for satellite navigation, route planning and fleet management.

The data will help freight and other heavy goods vehicles to avoid unsuitable routes, potentially reducing traffic volumes on quiet rural roads. It will also help reduce fuel costs, increase efficiency and enable businesses to give customers more precise delivery times.

“If you are driving an HGV or managing a fleet, it’s crucial to be able to pinpoint bridge restrictions that will affect navigation en route,” says Ordnance Survey’s Gavin Jackman. “A single bridge strike can lead to lost business and higher insurance premiums as well as the costs of repair. Other drivers can also be affected if surrounding roads have to be closed.”

The bridge data is available to users of the Road Routing Information (RRI) theme of Ordnance Survey’s overall digital road data product, OS MasterMap Integrated Transport Network (ITN) Layer. The RRI theme already includes a range of network and routing information. Before the development of the ITN Layer, information on weight, width and height was only available on an ad hoc basis from different sources. Now, the new dataset offers the first comprehensive unified source aimed at meeting the demands of the transport industry.

As well as helping delivery and freight companies and the providers of satellite navigation and other routing solutions, the new data will support local authority freight plans.

West Sussex County Council is one authority keen to ensure that freight movements are properly routed. “This data will support our aim of getting today’s freight onto the appropriate roads, which should lead to more efficient and effective operations,” says Tex Pemberton OBE, Cabinet Member for Highways And Transport at West Sussex. “It will help to address the issue of HGVs travelling on unsuitable roads in our rural and urban areas, something that causes distress to members of the public and local authorities alike. We, of course, support the success of business opportunity, but we must also consider the impact on the environment and quality of life.”

The new data will be available to ITN Layer RRI theme customers from the end of October 2006. Ordnance Survey is previewing it to licensed technology partners and visitors to the ITS World Congress and Exhibition in London on 9-12 October 2006.