ABOVE: Vehicles attempt to squeeze in between north and southbound traffic to access the Pacific Highway from Centenary Drive north of Grafton.
ABOVE: Vehicles attempt to squeeze in between north and southbound traffic to access the Pacific Highway from Centenary Drive north of Grafton. Jenna Thompson

Don't put blind faith into GPS directions

AS THE latest GPS directions reveal, you can't always rely on technology.

RELATED STORY: Why this 'shortcut' is a road to tragedy

I have childhood memories of dad pulling out the old RTA road map and scheming a nice little shortcut to bypass Grafton along Centenary Drive on our long path up the Pacific Highway to relatives at Lismore.

A quick look at Google Maps shows the wily manoeuvre slashes all of 2.2km off the trip.

A GPS 'shortcut' has directed highway traffic on to Centenary Drive, Clarenza, causing congestion at the northern intersection.
A GPS 'shortcut' has directed highway traffic on to Centenary Drive, Clarenza, causing congestion at the northern intersection. Jenna Thompson

I don't recall whether we had to join a long procession of cars waiting to do a potentially risky right hand turn onto the busy highway, and of course that is highly dependent on the time of year. We also never calculated the overall time-saving, but I'm sure dad thought he was onto a good thing.

However, these days the shortcut is not just privvy to crafty map-readers (an inherited skill now sadly redundant in this technological age), with more and more motorists taking the route as GPS applications send them on their merry way unaware of the traffic jam that awaits.

GPS applications such as Google Maps direct motorists off the Pacific Highway and on to Centenary Drive.
GPS applications such as Google Maps direct motorists off the Pacific Highway and on to Centenary Drive. Google Maps

No doubt at quieter times it can prove to be a valid shortcut (and definitely is for southbound motorists who only need to make left hand turns), and once the new Pacific Motorway is opened, it surely will be. But by then it won't be useful in any case.

You cannot always blindly trust the mobile phone applications for directions.

A recent hilarious faux pas on Google Maps actually revealed to residents a proposed bypass of Lismore before it had actually been publicly tabled:

On another note, Clarenza residents will be quick to tell you Centenary Drive is not in fit condition to handle the heavy traffic load - particularly with some trucking companies reportedly using it on a daily basis.



Tributes flow for 'queen of the canteen'

Premium Content Tributes flow for 'queen of the canteen'

A massive hole has been left at South Grafton Primary School following the sudden...

MAX CRUS: A lass poor Gladys.

Premium Content MAX CRUS: A lass poor Gladys.

It wouldn’t have mattered who she was knocking around with, the media would have a...

Pets of the Week: Find your fur baby!

Premium Content Pets of the Week: Find your fur baby!

Take a look at this handful of pets that are up for adoption at local animal rescue...