Visitors to the famous Fairy Pools on Skye and local residents in the island’s Carbost and Eynort areas are to benefit from road improvements.
The work is being funded by the Strategic Timber Transport Scheme and will benefit timber haulage and tourism access.
Three minor public roads – theC1236, C1237 and the B8009 – are involved in the scheme. The work also attracted funding from Highland Council and Forest Enterprise Scotland.
Derek Nelson, of Forestry Commission Scotland, which manages the funding, said: “The impact on minor rural roads of high volumes of traffic is quite punishing. The works carried out will ease the impacts on all road users, including forestry traffic.
“The STTF funding will facilitate structural repairs along a total eight-mile stretch of roads but will also see other work done to improve visibility, extend passing places, improve drainage and erect marker posts to improve road delineation.
“Road users should see an appreciable difference.”
Skye councillor John Finlayson, who sits on Highland Council’s enviornment development and infrastructure committee, said: “Obviously any improvement to the road infrastructure on Skye is to be welcomed. We certainly expect that visitor and tourist numbers will increase and having road infrastructure improvements is something that locals and tourists will all benefit from greatly.”
Works have already been completed along a stretch of the C1236 Eynort road, and further works along stretches of the B8009 at Carbost and the C1237 Glenbrittle road are underway and due to be completed by April.
As well as enabling 55,000 tonnes of timber to be extracted over the next 10 years, the works will allow easier movement of other traffic in this area.
The funding of £292, 472 came from the STTS (£159,461), The Highland Council (£88,011) and Forest Enterprise Scotland (£45,000).
Last year, the Fairy Pools alone attracted over 100,000 visitors – triggering congestion as some of the crowds were forced to park at the side of the road.
It was recently announced that the Skye Local Area Partnership will commit £200,000 of Highland Leader funding to expand the 35-space car park.
After work is complete there will be space to accommodate more than 100 cars and approximately 20 mini-buses and campervans.