With travel restrictions still in place and many people heading for staycations closer to home this year, road policing officers are reminding people to be safe while travelling on country roads.

In the north of Scotland, many roads are single track and only wide enough for one vehicle and in these instances there will be signs for passing places and drivers are asked to use these responsibly and use them to allow vehicles to pass and overtake.

Drivers are reminded to reduce speed on approach to bends and junctions and look out for blind summits and hidden dips.

Constable Neil MacDonald of Highlands and Islands Road Policing said: “The scenery in the area attracts people from all over the world

“While we welcome the visitors we would like to remind them that some of the roads are different to what they may have encountered before and to be careful and safe while visiting.”

Chair of the Highland council’s tourism committee, Gordon Adam added: “Driving throughout the Highlands is truly unique and the journey is very much part of the experience, however it does come with some challenges; particularly on narrow single track roads. 

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“We encourage all to drive according to the conditions of the road.  Be courteous to other road users – please check your mirrors regularly and pull in and let the traffic behind you pass. 

“Others may be carrying out vital deliveries or travelling to work, if you see a vehicle flashing headlights, it maybe someone attending an emergency. Pull in and let them pass.  Take extra care when passing cyclists and walkers, particularly on single track roads and look out for livestock and horse riders.”

Drivers are also reminded to put away any distractions and always fasten seatbelts.

Constable MacDonald added: “Following this advice will help ensure you have a safe and enjoyable trip while helping to play your part in ensuring the smooth and safe running of the roads in the north.”

Trish Robertson, chair of the Highland council’s economy and infrastructure committee said: “The Highland council fully support Police Scotland’s Road Safety campaign to inform visitors of the challenges of driving in rural locations with single track roads.

“Please make use of the nearest passing place and pull to the left to let traffic pass. You may have to reverse to let a vehicle pass. If you see a large vehicle approaching in the distance, be prepared to stop in the next passing place and wait for them to go by you. 

“Follow the guidance provided by Police Scotland to ensure that you and other road users can safely enjoy the beautiful Highland scenery.”

The North Coast 500 route has seen a boost in popularity in recent years, however traffic has caused concern for some local residents who have considered “withdrawing” their village from the route.

Earlier this year, ditches were dug around Applecross in Wester Ross to stop motorhomes parking in environmentally sensitive places, with signs erected warning against littering and dirty camping.

While many living in Applecross are supportive of the NC500 and the economic benefits it brings, others feel it is having a negative impact on the infrastructure, not least upon the famed Bealach na Ba.

This challenging road, which climbs to 2,053ft (626m) above sea level with steep gradients and hairpin bends, regularly sees motorhomes and campervans – a common mode of transport on the NC500 route – get into difficulty.