NC500 restriction N of Lochinver

mikeroch

Full Member
Posts
26
Likes
101
UPDATE: The signs prohibiting northward passage of campervans and caravans beyond the Achmelvich turn have been removed after the campsite owners at Clachtoll pointed out that they were installed unilaterally without discussions or any notice to affected parties. It does not mean that the issue has entirely gone away, but it's been placed on the back burner pending consultations.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Was down in Lochinver yesterday and it looks like work is actually underway on creating the recently-mooted Cassette loo disposal facility adjacent to the Leisure centre. Many big yellow machines and a thundering great hole being dug. I've also read elsewhere of plans for more re-watering and parking 'Aires' in the planning. It could be that at last Highland Council have woken up to the fact that motorcaravans (sometimes referred to as 'campervans' by the ignorant !!) are here to stay and if they want the place to remain civilised, must be properly accommodated and catered for.
 
Last edited:

colinmd

Full Member
Posts
2,452
Likes
1,858
I was surprised to see that the roads were so needlessly narrow in this day and age. The single lane roads on the NC500 were a revelatation. Considering it is a main road around the north west of Scotland it should at least be a good width, 2 lane road virtually everywhere. It surprises me that people just accept so many of these narrow main roads.
I would say, until 10 years ago the single track roads where perfectly adequate for the area, in fact I would say they where welcomed as they put off the 'hordes' from travelling there. Then someone dreamed up NC500 and 'wrecked' the area for summertime visitors who enjoy quiet traffic free roads.
 

Robmac

Full Member
Posts
21,782
Likes
25,671
Only my own selfish view, but a lot of remote Scotland's charm has always been narrow, winding roads with little traffic.

I have always holidayed there in preference to travelling abroad and absolutely love the highlands and islands. Hopefully the winter will see off the masses but we will see. Winter has always been my favourite time to visit.

As I say selfish, but I really wish the NC500 had never been thought of!
 

jagmanx

Full Member
Posts
4,567
Likes
4,020
As a "B Road" it is declared suitable for "vehicles" indeed large trucks and the like are necessary for the locals who live there.
(eg building materials)
Surely any prohibition is purely advisory. I do support the banning of towed caravans. (But that may not be legal ?)
It would be interesting to see if a large "Permanent Caravan" would be able to be transported to a location.
I am thinking the sort that normally come with an escort on a low loader or similar and may well have sought and been granted permision.
Recovery of a large motorhome (breakdown) may well prove difficult but as it is a "proper road" I do not see how it could be refused !

Yes on this and similar roads the problem is simply too many too often. But as we have seen recently "irresponsible and illegal" car parking was happening everywhere " I read of no plans to ban cars !!!.
As has been reported small convoys of even small cars caused problems. This would affect many areas.
Tourist coaches ply the "Mountain road to Aberystwyth" and the "Ring of Kerry"
The do sensibly follow a voluntary one-way code !
 

jann

Full Member
Posts
1,037
Likes
356
Single track roads can be relaxing, just keep your eye on the mirror and be ready to pull into a passing place.The top main road has good ahead vision in most places so you can plan ahead to move over. I think the main problem is that people have never driven these types of roads and do not understand the etiteque of single track driving.
 

Biggarmac

Full Member
Posts
527
Likes
795
The year before the NC500 was advertised I towed my 7.2m caravan with a long wheelbase Shogun, round most of the NC500. Clacktoll is a lovely spot and it was no trouble to get in by the Southern road. I had a look at the Northern route in the Shogun and would def not use that road in anything big.
 

caledonia

Full Member
Posts
3,052
Likes
4,468
I worked for Viridor who collected the waste glass from all the bootle banks in the highlands. The driver had no problem accessing places like Clachtoll and Lochinver in his 44ton artic.
 

mikeroch

Full Member
Posts
26
Likes
101
I should like to see him try it these days during normal working hours May to September.
 

caledonia

Full Member
Posts
3,052
Likes
4,468
It’s a 32ton 8 wheeler that does the route now and he’s round once a week. Achiltibui, Applecross every where you see bottle banks in the highlands they are emptied with a 32 ton 8 wheeler with a hiab on it.
 

PhatDad

Full Member
Posts
2
Likes
0
NC500 news .... We live near the A837 / B869 junction, numb with boredom on Monday, decided, now that 'the Season' is in decline, to go and drive the B869 loop from Lochinver to Kylestrome (returning via the main roads), something we have not done since the inception of the NC500 in 2015. As we passed the turn to Achmelvich, just before Rhicarn, there was a Council crew installing roadside signs declaring / advising / demanding "No camper vans or caravans beyond this point". We pressed on along the narrow, twisting, blind and in places very tricky (even in an estate car) road encountering some traffic, including a couple of absolute behemoths of vans coming the other way. At the NE end especially, the twists and gradients are reckoned to be even more testing than those at Bealach na ba on Torridon ... so they had done well to navigate it at all. No signs as yet installed at the northern junction with the A894. The campground at Clachtoll will suffer a loss of income as the result of this restriction, but it should make the remaining traffic flow a bit better. The signs appear to be advisory rather than legally binding, so it'll be interesting to see if a) anyone takes the slightest notice or b) any action is taken against them if they do not.

View attachment 87708 click to enlarge
I'd agree that the anti-clockwise route via Nedd and Clachtoll to Lochinver is near impassible with a large camper or caravan especially in bad weather, and so should be subject to restriction. But it's strange how the bus and the bin lorry still manage to negotiate the clockwise route, being twice as long as a campervan.
Still more restrictions from the highland council in their crusade against campervans, but that's their new normal. And let's face it, the Scots are not the most tolerant of people when it comes to foreigners !!
Freedom ! er not
 

Norfolk Jim

Full Member
Posts
72
Likes
87
Ha ha - we saw that lorry about 3 weeks ago when we were at Port a Bhaigh. We walked to Achiltibuie and actually saw him loading up. I thought 'poor sod' trying to make his way back to the A835.

When we left Port a Bhaigh (incredibly busy) on our way home via Edinburgh we decided to avoid the A835 (the natural and quickest route south) and go cross country via Ledmore on A837 Bonar Bridge with small divert to Lairg for fuel and to see Falls of Shin and watch the salmon. I was amazed how quiet the road was. Only 2 cars passed me (I pulled over) and we saw no more than 4 coming towards us - all between Ledmore and Rosehill - approx 18 miles. The road is 99% single track and a very pretty alternative. We ended up stopping at Dornoch caravan and camping where there was loads of space and right close to the beach.

We've been holidaying in Scotland since 2011 normally early/mid May and then again mid/late September of which the last 6 years have been in our VW T5. I can honestly say never in all that time has there been any animosity or ill feeling towards us and we've always felt welcome, getting on really well with locals so I'm not sure why others have had the opposite. We're even considering moving up there when we retire and joining in with local communities.
 

tmdgts

Free Member
Posts
1
Likes
0
I met up with a friend whose daughter is a local Councillor for the Highlands and she had much to tell me about the behaviour of a great number of motorists using not only the NC500 but the Highlands in general, off road parking up farm tracks, sheep folds, cycle tracks, historic footpaths, blocking peoples drives, human waste, vermin, unsociable behaviour, drugs and alcohol. Needless to say things are being reviewed. What changes are made to the route, including facilities on the route will be interesting to see.

I have to say over the last 25 years we have used this route many times, and years before with my parents. I would say for the first 20 of those years driving the route now known as the NC500 it was a delight to drive around no matter which direction but now we avoid it other than in the middle of winter when we might spend a few days away from home, this year we will give it a miss 🙄

Enjoy yourselves.
 

davep10000

Full Member
Posts
177
Likes
369
Its not the road thats the problem, its either the vehicle or the inexperienced driver, or both.
However the weather is turning, with thick snow on the northern summits last week, so icy road patches arent far away.
Went over the Drumbeg road yesterday end to end, fantastic road.
Plenty of passing places, you would only ever have to reverse a 100 yards at most, but maybe thats too hard for some!!
Lochinver was heaving with big and small m/homes, but we parked up overnight on a tiny back road with no one else anywhere around.
Sadly the pie shop in lochinver was shut...
 

Deneb

Full Member
Posts
134
Likes
206
Drove that route from north to south a couple of weeks ago. Absolutely stunning. I can't remember the exact weight now, but I believe there were signs at the northern end banning vehicles over 24.5 tonnes, so if the authorities think anything below that is manageable, why attempt to ban or discourage motorhomes?

Perhaps by placing advisory signs at the southern end, they are attempting to persuade motorhomes to travel clockwise only?

I have a Ducato PVC, so no issues at all with navigating my own vehicle. We met several motorhomes, a 7.5 tonne truck and a 16 tonne truck travelling in the opposite direction, all negotiated without any dramas. The only issue was a man in a Fiat 500 who had just passed a passing place by a car's length when we met on what for me was a steep downhill gradient, so there was no-way I was attempting to reverse a fully laden 3.5 ton van uphill. I don't think he had ever had to reverse before in his life, the time and trouble that it took him :rolleyes:
 

barge1914

Full Member
Posts
1,385
Likes
2,147
NC500 news .... We live near the A837 / B869 junction, numb with boredom on Monday, decided, now that 'the Season' is in decline, to go and drive the B869 loop from Lochinver to Kylestrome (returning via the main roads), something we have not done since the inception of the NC500 in 2015. As we passed the turn to Achmelvich, just before Rhicarn, there was a Council crew installing roadside signs declaring / advising / demanding "No camper vans or caravans beyond this point". We pressed on along the narrow, twisting, blind and in places very tricky (even in an estate car) road encountering some traffic, including a couple of absolute behemoths of vans coming the other way. At the NE end especially, the twists and gradients are reckoned to be even more testing than those at Bealach na ba on Torridon ... so they had done well to navigate it at all. No signs as yet installed at the northern junction with the A894. The campground at Clachtoll will suffer a loss of income as the result of this restriction, but it should make the remaining traffic flow a bit better. The signs appear to be advisory rather than legally binding, so it'll be interesting to see if a) anyone takes the slightest notice or b) any action is taken against them if they do not.

View attachment 87708 click to enlarge
Came through today, no signs that we could see, lots of vans passing both ways, no real problems experienced.
 

Users who viewed this discussion (Total:613)

Alberto, Wheelie, ironman, brian c, Debs, jagmanx, jeanette, mark61, DTF, Harryw, moonshadow, Android, Scotia, buryanna, Farman, korky, barryd, AdriaTwin, 2cv, Val54, pamjon, Penny13, mariesnowgoose, mossypossy, TeamRienza, Makzine, Biggarmac, witzend, mistericeman, JVG, Johnsais, winks, jann, ian1950, Fisherman, Hawkeye, Monkeybrand, AMcQ46, sparrks, Tonybvi, V1nny, clarkpeacock, The laird, lizp, AllanD, DTDOG, caledonia, PawneePilot, thebeeman, MartinFife, Tookey, Ramsay, Mr and Mrs Tupcox, AgeingRocker, st3v3, GreggBear, myvanwy, Okta, izwozral, Heppy, John and Janet, Jo001, SquirrellCook, dunfillin, HappyNessie, lthoel2, jas900, groyne, QFour, scampa, Wooie1958, gc1874, doglover1, Debroos, Sharon the Cat, molly 2, pj650, Bigshug, Andysm, mofish, Silver sprinter, highlandron, GeoffL, number14, Edina, kevlakes, r4dent, Nidge, John H, dane, katv, colinmd, Wully, specky4eyes, UFO, robell, vanmandan, campervanannie, Fenders, gdf, Veloman, linkshouse, Red Dwarf, Martin P, skippy, trevskoda, Toffeecat, Jayg, john77, ARDAS, Robmac, bobemmo29, helmit, kernewek, davebav50, Shockingdog, tmdgts, Forresbroons, Mikael, Canalsman, Mobilvetta, pedro, Grum, wilsal, Bounce, davep10000, TonyB, hmssnake, Hycon, Wetwalker, Poacher, TJBi, Goggles, runnach, mjvw, belbri, Steve C, Livotlout, shortcircuit, ChrisInNotts, tugboat, cronkle, Babybirddog, chrisjones18, brucews, Jon, denmar, bikercat, trooper2000, bmc, 1807truckman, Andys, Tezza33, mid4did, Buckby, Ahhmrfisher, terrywolf, VandA, rabW, Tapfitter, Phantom, MOJO, T5paulo, torwood, Jane and Peter, Jandb4, Mandoman, Gollum the boulderer, kingfisher1, grapework, Interceptor, Jus, reddot44, jeanmatt, Barleydog, Tony123, 5andy, rugbyken, tadpole58, x10jhg, londontavern, royh28, phe259, yorkshireCPLE, Ian and Cath, Ted, in h, Driventemple, Budgie, JFH, tipper trucker, robertcatc, wildebus, Obanboy666, yogibear, jordan, The Jacks, GinaRon, ian81, barge1914, AllanB, hank, BlueVanMan, ScarletPimple, RV2MAX, kangooroo, john lawrance, maxsdad, Dog8crisps, AvalonAdventurers, tripper, MaisieMead, byron, trevork, rayeastwood, Chris Evans001, Fazerloz, griffg, NSY, Amethyst, bandit1200cc, Servo, big tom, flying kipper, terry111, Foxyscot, Herman, Ian McMillan, Dowel, Nilocck, andrewlyon, Markd, LesS, Ron Sutton, Codie, vsherouse, Chrisp955, Rai3458, Ticket, DotArnot, domandcarole, CHII BUS, VW Traveller, Cathy, Mark Burgess, Lefty, Jalfa, Ellendale, BarryNo1, Timberjack69, maw123, hania00, beedubbleyoo, slowgiles, Old Silver Fox, harryrym, bobhogrunner, Gini Hay, davepierson, John1954, CWH, Pandaman2020, Nicnaen, Jeavsy, chris spratt, Lord Lucan, DavidRoberts, Sheringham4, geoffvalenti, Georgieporgie, EllieM, Subablu, Su James, silverweed, tranivanman, Jiwawa, andrew rogers, Alan Wicks, phillybarbour, Palette, gettingolder2, Scotphot, bilbo, countrycruisers, Koko, stoneybroke, CavityandLacey, Dave Harrison, Janet1, Andrewbuch, fifey 21, mikegasgas, Monkeysitter, AndyC, Alun100, Bilw, Mad Pierrre, DiAndy, Alphabetty, littlemissqueen, Goofer, Chapmichael, Northumborman, Fifer, Ken Parsons, RSD7a, delicagirl, Bigbaz, Spike, potterrover, steveandchez, ragittyrags, Mikebike, Chilumba, Owlhouse, PAULI, Rutaria, roseroelofse, Ianpm, Trevone, John Thompson, dhall26, Forcesixwindy, ozbit, seagoon, Dave H, Gary clague, Bailey62, glinny, Kevd, JimandHazel, Cie, davidm, sandya, Hughendon, Somerled, Sjlumsden, Mr B, Mike24, Nuvu, mick n jules, Fixer, Kraken, sailoron, Scabbydog, DorisBoris, MissDor, ipc, Stevie 25, DAVEY, Cliveyn, Mikeparkinson, PaulF, Cliff1951, Mojays, Wolf, cowanhouse, Jonned, Izz, Donsider, nitkn, Texastom, christine, monxton, FullyReclined, jpdlin, goldfincharmer, WanderingEllie, Chinaexplorer, Ironjaws, grandrover, smg, Mark135, cowgillbiker, Bazza1509, IAIN1745, JanettaVienetta, devine, Raptor15, scotchsw3, IanD, DrivingMsDaisy, mechanised, jennyp19, Minisorella, Curly, TORCHIE, topchook, Nomad, badgerdid, Wisewoman, jim dalton, Patandtubs, BM48, saxonrosie, enhanceco, GeordieBoy, Steve.H, Dethy, Homenaway, Littlemush, David26, Jodi bell, RogerO, Fizz, Buzzard, joyceatbanns, SimonM, Bertilak, Robina, Whinreeker, eggbeater, Beldea, Walterf, phillhend, Dads Train, Shuggzelriva, Mrs wt, Mr K2, Ericb, Mtbcol, Alcfire, Duckduck, Sumo, fossil367, Bigredf, zigzaggy, Florance, barlicker, Jaxoffive, sueant08, reiverlad, glenm, Helzie, merl, horace, craig10, lindandave, WinkiePick, bennybhoy, Norfolk Jim, PhatDad, TLK, pete99, chrisjanvan, MinniMo, WingNut, Bheinn, TTCamper, NalaK, Snapper49, IanT, Kevm72, keithhep, Joanna71, DaveP, stonedaddy, b0p, lynngaynor, 02manytoys, hunterd01, Nomad7, Technispark, Hannick, DocMartin, akradiabra, Mikewood, Ev Rhodes, Raptor107, mikewroe, TheMillers, Creedon, sashskelly, Jonsey5533, vtwinner, patsyanne, Wingman1800, Printerjohn, Johnboy3010, Ferris day off, Big Stevie, Jaguar, smackaylvit, MikeRS, Deneb, regent, Tompa, Grannyb59, Stuartbowen, bazil, murfyxt, Beartrips, cwb, james1508, Genie, Ali-lou, Yolo, Fatboy09, peter palance, Sallsa, SHABBINS, DTSmiff, Tricklands School, Katherine Hodge, Bazfitz, Jean, dnprince, jan, slabraider, The Hughesys, kensowerby, tintrake, mygrassisblue, Wee camper, Tim Bailey, Gina G, timatabsa, COCKY, Cazzy, Janus, jqp, jimbillwood, gid7, elfish, Shoz, T25babble, phil501, Badgerbosslady, billfraser, rottytara2004, Hollser, JeanDerek, Billy Ruffian, Wrightpm, wildrose, The Collies, Crazy Horse, T4david, ramblefrog, gilldrew, Magsw, Moose, janj, HNC, fishtowers, trekkert, dilbert, Dreamcatchers, Hillyfilly, Peisinoe, dbadba, greenfintry, Gully, ant0191, BURSTNER BILL, Devonbey, Russ1014, cancunia, Blue Lady, RichardP, Drallan45, jimbad, Bogtrotters, Thistle, Dee, SallyW, Ginger, flloyd, Gummy, Roadromer, BeakerFlo, landie50, Computerkid, Sooloo, Elliott99, 11ALB, Prsbiker, Bigkat007, norman64, Bluedi, Skyhigh, Ron333, Springer2, mr. badolki, Cideray, wurzel, bjh, adriandp, Daiboy, dave01249, Oddeyes, milton, KenT, paulcmackie, mac6904, betsy22, esmeej, Leion770, arkwright, MiaC3000, davidjlambert, Apollo 13, Harrytherid, mjhall37, ivanisafish, Vanterrier, 2Coops, Freddie, Juha, LSmethurst, dibble18, T4Lyn, eeek,
Top