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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Traffic Control Measures Introduced on Morar – Arisaig B8008 Coastal Route

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The Highland Council has implemented new traffic control measures on the B8008 Morar- Arisaig coastal route in the interest of public safety and following extensive consultation with the B8008 Working Group.

The extremely popular tourism route has experienced years of issues with road users inconsiderately or dangerously parking on the route to access the beaches, blocking vehicle access, causing road congestion, and overnight parking on the roadside for long periods of time making both road user and pedestrian access problematic and a safety concern.

The route now has several kilometres of double yellow lines in areas that were – due to inconsiderate parking – presenting a risk to public safety. 

A Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) of £100 will be issued to any vehicle found to be in contravention and if required can be uplifted.

Please note that Double Yellow lines mean NO Waiting at Any Time 24 hours per day.

Economy and Infrastructure Committee Chair, Cllr Ken Gowans said:

“The Morar to Arisaig route is historically one of the most popular stretches of coastline on the west coast, with the iconic Silver Sands – Morar, Camusdarach and Traigh beaches with backdrops to the majestic Small Isles, it is particularly popular during the summer months, however public safety and access for emergency response vehicles is priority and there is no room for compromise when it comes to keeping roads clear and safe.

“The public must adhere to the new traffic control measures or risk a penalty notice or vehicle uplift for illegal parking.”

A B8008 Working Group spokesperson said:

“It is important to raise public awareness of the new traffic control measures ahead of the busy summer season.

“The B8008 stretch of road including parts at Traigh, Camusdarach and Silver Sands-Morar, has new double yellow lines that mean NO Waiting at Any Time 24 hours per day.

“People need to be aware ahead of travelling to the area, particularly those who may intend to park motorhomes, campervans or park and pitch a tent at the beach to consider alternative options, E.g., booking a motorhome/campsite on the B8008 as road parking at these key locations is not possible.

“We are acutely aware of the significant demand and uplift in motorhome/campervan ownership and rental/hire vehicles in recent years and the area caters well for this popular choice of holidaying.

“The B8008 Morar-Arisaig stretch of coastline has approx. 10 designated sites, most facilities have direct access to the beaches, and people can enjoy the amazing views, sunsets, and a relaxed holiday atmosphere, whilst supporting local businesses and keeping the roads, designated car parks and parking bays on the route for their intended purpose.

“The community welcomes thousands of visitors all year round and continues to strive to improve infrastructure throughout the area, however we also need to be realistic in our ability to continue to offer the best west coast visitor experience in a sustainable and responsible way that prevents over-tourism and safety implications for both residents and visitors alike.”

Silver Sands – Morar has a newly refurbished community operated car park and toilet amenities, which allow overnight parking (max duration 24hrs) for an affordable fee.

Camusdarach car park has room for approx. 15 vehicles and does not permit overnight parking for motorhome/campervans.

Mandatory charging will be introduced shortly with maximum stays for 12 hours during the day.

Traigh – Has a small privately operated car park, that has a height restriction barrier and not suitable for motorhomes.

It currently has no fee to use.

Mallaig – Has two designated Council operated parking facilities, however at West Bay car park, motorhome/campervan parking is not permitted between 10pm – 8am.

This car park also has new community operated toilets, shower, and waste disposal for a small fee.

The B8008 Working Group, established back in 2020 to mitigate the parking/road issues and visitor management that impact the area in high season, particularly May-Sept and to ensure that a whole area approach is considered when implementing change to avoid displacing issues to other local areas whilst looking to improve visitor amenities in a way that is considerate of the surroundings, rural environment, and residents.

Visitor Management issues can be reported on The Highland Council website at www.highland.gov.uk/report the online forms are available 24/7.

Useful motorhome and campervan guidance can be found here

To find out more information about the Scottish Outdoor Access Code click here  

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