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Speed cameras to make ‘regular visits’ to Highland accident blackspot

General image of Forss straight
Forss straight. Photo: Caithness Roads Recovery Group

Campaigners have welcomed progress in their efforts to secure safety improvements at a road accident blackspot in Caithness.

The long straight through the village of Forss on the A836 Thurso road is now to have regular visits from police speed camera vans.

And Highland Council has carried out the first of a list of actions being sought for the section of the North Coast 500 where there have been four fatalities in the past 10 years.

Long-term safety concerns at Forss

Forss Campaign Group set up recently after long-time concerns voiced by residents who complained that the road through their village has been used like a racetrack by workers returning home from a shift at Dounreay and Vulcan.

Their pleas to lower the speed limit from 60mph and for no overtaking lines fell on deaf ears.

But the group has already made progress since it was formed in December.

Iain Gregory, who is a member of the Caithness Roads Recovery Group. Photo: Sandy McCook/DCT Media

A freedom of information request it sought has revealed there have been 15 accidents on the stretch since 2012, including four fatalities.

It has won a commitment from the Safety Camera Partnership that the Forss straight is to have regular visits from speed camera vans, with the first having taken place.

Bosses at Dounreay and Vulcan have highlighted the issue with their workforces. 

The group has also welcomed Highland Council’s improvement works to the road surface and new pavement kerbing at Forss Bridge.

‘This matter must be dealt with’

Council officials and Dounreay managing director Mark Rouse met with group representatives on Monday to discuss the issue.

Group spokesman, former senior policeman Iain Gregory said yesterday that when they were there, they saw numerous examples of dangerous overtaking and speeding.

He said:  “At one point a child was observed having to walk along a rough ditch, as it was quite simply too dangerous to cross the road, whilst high-speed traffic flew past only feet away.

“During the hour I spent at the location on Monday, I witnessed at least half a dozen examples of straightforward dangerous driving, reckless overtaking, and grossly excessive speeding.

“This matter must be dealt with – and dealt with rapidly – to prevent more tragedies occurring”.

The group is calling for a cut in the speed limit to 50mph; double-white no overtaking lines and signage, junction and surfacing improvements.

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