Old Man of Storr popularity is creating road safety hazard

The view of the Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye. Picture: Jane Barlow
The view of the Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye. Picture: Jane Barlow
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A SCOTTISH landmark has appeared in so many Hollywood movies that tourists are causing a road safety hazard.

The Old Man of Storr, an iconic rock formation on Skye, was recently featured in Steven Spielberg’s remake of Roald Dahl’s The BFG.

In recent weeks, the  interest created by the landmark has led to more than 100 cars being parked at its visitor site each day.

This has led to concerns from locals about parking congestion, the risk of car accidents and a lack of facilities such as public toilets.

Visitor numbers to the  island have soared over the past few years, thanks to its use in several high profile films, including The BFG, Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and the  2015 remake of Macbeth.

READ MORE: Old Man of Storr named one of Britain’s best views

A local management  group has now appointed a group of consultants and architects to appraise the Highland owned land at Storr.

Donald MacDonald, chairman of the Staffin Community Trust, which has appointed the  group, said that options included expanding car parking facilities and public toilets, and that these would possibly be funded by food  sales or car park costs.

MacDonald said the trust would seek the opinions of locals at a public consultation this Saturday.

He said: “Of course I’ve got my own views on what could be done but really we want to hear from as many people as possible.

Richard Heggie, owner of Urban Animation, which has been awarded the appraisal contract, explained the importance of reaching a balance between preserving the  site and improving it.

He said: “It’s a location of worldwide significance and it’s certainly a very well-known place.

“We’ve all got a responsibility to look after the site but also to make sure that people have a good experience when they visit.”

The Old Man of Storr is a distinctive rock formation overlooked by the Storr Cliffs on the northernmost peninsula of Skye.

READ MORE: Old Man of Storr to get its own visitor centre

The BFG, which features the formation heavily in its backgrounds, was released in the United Kingdom last weekend and beat Star Trek and Ghostbusters at the Box Office.

The film took £5.2 million between Friday and Sunday.

Prometheus, which features Idris Elba and Michael Fassbender, opens with a scene that includes the Old Man of Storr in the background.

Increasing numbers of tourists in Scotland have led to traffic safety concerns across the country.

In the Highlands, residents have labelled a recently opened scenic road route, the “highway to hell”.

People living on the route of the North Coast 500, which runs along the A9 from Inverness to Wick, and then along the Scottish north coast, have witnessed adrenaline junkies in super cars using the road as a racetrack.

The route was created last year to boost tourism in Scotland and is already regularly billed as one of the top five coastal routes in the world by motor fans.

Tours of the North Coast 500 in cars with top speeds of over 200mph are being advertising widely on the internet.

The North Coast 500 website have now stated on their website: “The North Coast 500 is not the Indy 500... it is not the Le Mans 24hr... it is not The Gumball Rally... it is one of the top 5 coastal touring routes in the world, with the emphasis on touring.”