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35% of motorists can't read a map

Satellite-navigation systems blamed for decline in map-reading skills

• More than one third fail basic test
• Just 1% have Cub Scout map-reading skills
• Many believe sat-nav is to blame

More than a third of British motorists cannot read a basic road map, according to a survey out today.

Researchers from esure car insurance polled more than 1000 motorists and discovered that 35% couldn't read a four-figure grid reference.

Only 1% could pass the Cub Scout map-reading badge test, which involves understanding and interpreting all symbols on an Ordnance Survey map.

In addition, 83% failed to identify the map symbol for a motorway and only 54% could identify the symbol for a railway station.

The rising popularity of satellite-navigation systems is being blamed for the decline in map-reading skills, with 63% of drivers saying they would get lost without it.

• A recent poll by investigated whether the road atlas's days were numbered.

However, 83% of respondents said the road atlas still had a pivotal role in their motoring lives.

The ten most common map symbols not recognised
1. Mud 93%
2. Motorway 83%
3. Bus or coach station 75%
4. Nature reserve 66%
5. Public convenience 55%
6. Railway station 54%
7. Place of worship 40%
8. Picnic site 31%
9. Place of worship with spire 21%
10. Camp or caravan site 21%

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