by Mike McNamee Published 01/02/2017
GPS in its various forms has invaded all walks of life. If you need to get to a place with effortless precision, most of the time GPS will do the job for you. The important word here, though, is 'most' a good starting point is to assume that GPS is incorrect and double check on a paper map, an A to Z, Google Earth and Google Street View or, preferably, all four! How much effort you put into cross-checking your route depends upon why you are going in the first place. If it is for a wedding you should probably visit as well in case you get any nasty parking shocks even when you have arrived at the correct venue (and do check it is the 'correct' St Alban in the Marshes, there might be more than one!
Everybody has a GPS tale to tell. I have three:
1. In the early days of satnav, 'Jane' took me off the M6 Toll. I paid my £4 then followed Jane's directions right back onto the M6 toll to the next exit and gave the nice man another £4. Jane said she'd rarely been called one of those before!
2. I punched in the post code from the instructions to find a place at which I was to give a lecture. At one point, close to destination, Jane instructed me to 'turn right at the end of the road'. Nothing, other than driving through an eight-foot hedge, was available, although I could see the venue through the branches. One way to get around this problem is to punch in a road name and house number but any wedding photographer will confirm that churches NEVER have house numbers and often stand upon roads that extend from one suburb to the next!
3. A small painted sign nailed to a tree and written in what was a detectably exasperated hand: it said 'I don't care what your satnav says, you will not get a truck along this lane'.
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