The “frightening” speed of cars through a village on the NorthCoast500 tourist route has prompted calls for a 30mph limit.
The crofting hamlet of Elphin, beside the A835 in Sutherland, has experienced four notable collisions in 18 months, two resulting in injury.
Residents believe traffic may have trebled since “Scotland’s answer to Route 66” was launched a few years ago.
Prolonged pressure on Highland Council to reduce the speed limit at Elphin has failed to register, according to local councillor George Farlow.
A petition has demonstrated the strength of local feeling. It showed that 54 of the 56 local adult population want a 30mph limit.
Retired educational psychologist Bill Badger, 72, said: “People are angry. It’s becoming frightening here. A number live right on the edge of the road. Last summer the traffic was unprecedented and it’s going to get worse.”
The petition was instigated by neighbour Sian Curley, 36, who has three young children and is pregnant with a fourth.
She has lived in the village for a decade and supports the NC500 initiative because of its economic windfall for the region but she also wants a local 30mph limit.
“The danger has increased,” she said. “Much of the road here is straight, which is one of the problems. The council may feel it’s safe because of its sight lines but we feel it encourages people to go faster.”
A council official was due to meet villagers last Friday to discuss their concerns but heavy snow intervened. A new date is being arranged.
Councillor Farlow, who backs the 30mph call, said: “A count at the tail end of last year showed the average speed of drivers passing through the 40mph stretch was 45mph, so many people were speeding.”
A spokeswoman for tourism project said: “NC500 has been named one of the top five touring routes in the world and its success has brought many more tourists to the north Highlands, bringing a significant boost to the Highland economy.
“We’ve produced a safe driving guide, available on our website, emphasising how to drive it safely, responsibly and respectfully. We support any local initiative that seeks to proactively promote road safety.”