Tireless campaigner wins fight over lay-bys

Lay-by signs telling drivers “no overnight parking” have been deemed illegal.

Campaigner Andy Strangeway claimed the signs were a danger to tired motorists looking for a place to rest.

He also argued they were not a welcoming sight for tourists to the Highlands.

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After a ten-month campaign, Transport Scotland has agreed to remove them.

Mr Strangeway, an adventurer from East Yorkshire who is a regular visitor to the Highlands and Islands, started lobbying for their removal last year.

He travels the country sleeping in remote sites – becoming the first person to land and sleep on all 162 Scottish islands in 2007 – and argued that drivers should be allowed to pull over and rest in roadside lay-bys.

A spokesman for Transport Scotland said the signs, which dated from the 1990s, would be removed.

He added: “Regulations have changed since the signs were erected. The signs concerned pre-date Transport Scotland and, following a review, we have instructed our operating companies to remove them in the coming weeks.

“Although the signs were erected with good intentions in an attempt to encourage responsible use of the lay-bys, the proper processes were not followed to prohibit overnight parking. There is no traffic order in place. The signs are not authorised.”

The 50 signs will be removed by 31 August during a rolling programme of work on the roads in the Highlands.

Mr Strangeway is delighted with the outcome, saying: “Throughout the UK you come across messages that state ‘tiredness kills, take a break’. But in the Highlands you have had to keep on driving.”

He said motorists should be able to use the lay-bys for a rest.

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