NC500: Residents raise concerns over 'sports car convoys'

People living near the NC500 driving route have raised concerns about “sports car convoys” and speeding motors on the roads.

The 516-mile loop that starts in Inverness and runs through Black Isle, Caithness, Sutherland and Wester Ross, has become a draw for car clubs, organised tours and driving enthusiasts.

Maree Todd, SNP MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, said residents living close to the route had contacted her with safety concerns.

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Ms Todd said: "This is one of the most beautiful parts of the world - the scenery is amazing, the food is amazing and we have a reputation for hospitality.

"But people need to remember that this our home and to treat it with respect.

"We are seeing convoys of sports cars going through these quite narrow country roads.

"In some places there is single track and there is this impression some people are trying to complete the route in a certain time."

Last week, police clocked a tourist driving at 104mph on the A832, which forms a major part of the NC500.

Convoys of sports cars are regularly seen on the stunning Bealach na Ba stretch of the NC500

Police Scotland regularly patrol the route, with officers increased during the summer months.

Sgt Kate Park said: "The scenery in the north rightly attracts visitors from all over the world, in addition to local motorists who regularly use routes such as the NC500.

"Given the rural nature of many of these roads, it is vital that motorists drive in a responsible manner, whilst being mindful of their own safety and that of other road users."

She urged the public to report poor and dangerous driving to the 101 non-emergency so that patrols could be targeted to problem spots.

She added: "We continue to rely on the public to report any road safety concerns by calling 101, so our patrols can be targeted to have the greatest effect."

Craig Mills, head of operations at NC500, said visitors were encouraged to drive safely and in line with speed limits.

He said: "We would urge people to report any dangerous or anti-social behaviour to Police Scotland and other relevant authorities."

NC500 was launched in 2015 with one study concluding it was worth £22m a year to the north Highland economy.

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