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TECHNOLOGY TURMOIL

The benefits of satellite navigation were lost on one taxi driver who keyed an incorrect name into his system and ended up going almost ninety miles in the wrong direction. Two teenage girls booked the taxi and asked the driver to take them from Bournemouth to Lymington, Hampshire. Unfortunately, the wonders of technology combined with language problems meant they went instead to Limington, Somerset. Unsure of the way, the East European taxi driver asked the girls to write down the address of the caravan park.

He then entered what they had written — 'Limington' — on his car's satellite navigation system. Barry Gill, manager of United Taxis, commented: "He put it into his sat nav and away he went. He thought he was doing the right thing." Ninety minutes later, the driver deposited the girls at a caravan park in Yeovil, around three miles from Limington. He then charged them an 80 fare and drove off. The two girls, from Plymouth in Devon, did not realise the mistake until they asked bemused locals how to find their New Forest campsite. "It was then they made contact with us and said ‘We think we've been dropped in the wrong place’", said Mr Gill.

His immediate response was to send another car to pick them up and take them to Lymington. "We kept in touch with the girls to make sure they were totally safe and I personally phoned the father every half hour," added Mr Gill. The unnamed original driver is unlikely to make the same mistake again, having learnt a costly lesson. He has reportedly had to refund the girls' taxi fare and also stand the cost of sending out the second car and driver.

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