Frustrated Highlands residents have renewed calls for more suitable camping sites along the busy North Coast 500 tourist route.
People living along the region’s answer to America’s famous Route 66 say the busy summer months have brought a major increase in vehicles on the trail, and caused problems with camper vans being parked along the side of the road and mounds of rubbish being left behind in the countryside.
Residents are now calling for “serious development” to cope with the sheer volume of cars, with many people arriving in the area with nowhere to stay.
They claim the stellar success of the route over the past four years means the area is still catching up with the demand for accommodation, tourist attractions and food.
John Bailey, who lives on the north coast near Bettyhill in Caithness, said: “We are at breaking point.
“Some mornings the roadside is littered with campers – who simply do not know how to tidy up after themselves or put rubbish in bins.
“Bosses from Highland Council need to come here and see the volume of traffic. It is time for some serious development to make it sustainable.”
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Another resident, Tim Maguire, contacted the Press and Journal to raise his concerns.
Mr Maguire said: “The problem is getting worse, and it is the attitude of some of the people who are coming to the area.
“I think we can all appreciate that there is a lack of infrastructure and that it can be difficult from travellers who want to come here.”
Another man, who lives near Wick, said that he was sick of tidying up after rough campers.
He said: “I think people get to my croft at night and think they will just stay – no permission, no thank yous. I am sick of tidying up after them.”
But a Highland Council spokeswoman said the local authority had not received any “direct complaints” regarding traffic on the North Coast 500.
Regarding the increase in traffic on the route, a Transport Scotland spokesman said: “We do all we can to ensure that the A835, A99 and A9 are well maintained.”