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VIDEO: Tourists failing to heed campervan warning on busy section of NC500

A busy section of the steepest single track road in the UK has become a pinch point for motoring tourists on the North Coast 500- with as many as 30 incident on the route this year so far.

The popular road at Bealach na Bà is an unlisted road on the Applecross peninsula, it has come to international prominence through the North Coast 500 tourist route around the Highlands.

Signs on both ends of the route, near the A896 and at Applecross on the far west coast already warns the drivers of campervans and motorhomes that the road is not suitable for wide or long vehicles. But stickers cover the sign, making it almost impossible to read.


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The community council says it is frustrated by the sheer numbers of people who ignore the sign, and use the road – and simply can not reverse. Many camper vans and motor homes still insist on making the trip by convoy.

The 10 mile road was built in 1822 with gradients that approach 20% in some places.

One farmer told the Press and Journal: “Why do people drive these massive motor homes who cannot reverse?

“It is not rocket science to think that when you are on a single track road that you might need to reverse the vehicle. I have been stuck up there with a tractor and had to reverse for a quarter of  a mile, because these drivers can’t go back 10ft.

“It might be funny now – but there will be an accident. Already this year I have helped people out.”

Andrew Miller, a delivery driver who makes the trip most days, said: “I have even had to get into another car and help them reverse. It is a tricky road and it adds hours to my day when someone is stuck.”

One driver, Chris Russell, 31, who posted a nail-biting video of driving along the road in a 23ft long motorhome said people should be careful before setting out on the road.

He said: “When we were planning the trip and making our itinerary, everywhere we read up on it told us to avoid the Bealach na Ba at all costs in a motorhome so we had planned to bypass it.”

The video is posted on Mr Russell’s Instagram account mylife_as.i_liveit.

He continued: “So as we were travelling to Applecross we were following our Sat Nav which told us to turn left at this big sign post.

“Unfortunately we couldn’t make out what it said on the sign post due to it being completely covered in NC500 stickers.

“It was a great experience and nerve wracking at times due to the severe drops from the single track road.

“I wouldn’t advise anyone who is not confident in driving to take this road at all.”

John Glover, from Applecross Community Council said: “It is an ongoing battle and the key is communication.

“People still insist in travelling in convoy.

“We don’t want to discourage anyone from coming to Applecross because it is important for the local economy.  But to go on that road in a camper van or motorhome when you don’t know how difficult it is, is just dangerous.”

A police spokesman said: “Rules that apply to all roads also apply to this one.”

 

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