A sad state of affairs

  • This from the North Coast 500 Everything Faceberk group that Mrs 3D follows:


    I’m sorry for this post but it is absolutely necessary, and it’s my responsibility as someone who promotes the west coast of Scotland, to make you aware of this situation.

    I’ve taken so many photos over the weekend that I’ve yet to share. Why have I not? Because I’m struggling. I’m struggling with what I’ve witnessed here in Arisaig and Morar.

    The 37 caravans and motorhomes parked on the fragile machair at the roadside of Traigh yesterday. The dozens of cars and campervans parked so badly at the GREY sands of Morar, obstructing traffic and not having a care in the world about anyone other than themselves.

    The dirty, dirty campers defecating on the beach, in front of people who have looked forward to staying in this picturesque part of the world for two years. They came to walk the silver sands of Morar and they look nothing like what they had known or imagined. There are tents everywhere and our neighbour bumped into a female on the beach at the weekend and totally unashamedly she said, Oh I’m just off down the beach to have a poo. 😳 It is an absolute disgrace.

    The lack of disrespect and the ignorance shown by these visitors to not only the beautiful landscape here, but to the people who live here, is abhorrent. Public toilets have been put in place at Traigh, thanks to local crowdfunding, and now the person who cleaned these facilities has resigned because they couldn’t tolerate the abuse any more.

    There are 32 burnt areas of grassland at the verge of these beautiful beaches. The legislation from the Scottish government does not prohibit fires and so the ignoramuses think it’s ok to do it. People are taking down local crofters’ fence posts to burn so they can have a fire on the beach.

    I have spent most of today speaking to Police Scotland and to the Highland Council. They are trying to do what they can to control the situation, but until people stop turning up unplanned like this, and the Scottish Government steps in and listens to the changes needed to the legislation, this picturesque area will be ruined.

    This wouldn’t be necessary if people behaved with decency. If campsites are full, you don’t just turn up and obstruct roads by parking where you want to park. You go somewhere else. If you want to wild camp, you don’t do so by the roadside. You climb a hill far away from anyone. You take away absolutely everything with you. You don’t throw a disposable bbq, which hasn’t been properly distinguished, in a public bin and subsequently set it on fire.

    I understand how badly people want to go on holiday, how badly they want to be somewhere beautiful like this. What I don’t understand is this kind of shocking behaviour. It is not your right to roam wherever you want. It is not your right to make local residents lives a misery.

    So, if I don’t give the exact location of where I am, there is very good reason. There are very few hidden gems left in this part of the world and we don’t need a megaphone to tell everyone exactly where they are.

    Explore only with respect for others and for the local area. If you don’t agree, please find another page to follow, as you are not welcome here. To everyone else, I’m sorry to have to share this with you. Scotland has always been one of the most beautiful countries in the world and with your respect, will remain so. 💙

    Sent from my iPhone

  • I did the NW500 twice, before it was official and even then it was busy. The first time I stayed at Sango Sands, I had to wait for an hour for a table for dinner. The next year I took food with me. Living near Loch Lomond and having worked around Balloch for a while, I am not surprised this has happened.

    We are sadly a nation of litter louts, who think nothing of messing up the environment. I have recently started volunteer litter picking in my local area and I can litter pick in the morning and by the evening, passing cars have dumped more fast food packaging and cans. Look at how ranger fans celebrated their win. They trashed George Sq twice. What a bizarre way to celebrate, by creating a huge mess costing apparently around £60k to clean up.

  • Yeah, we litter pick when we go out for our daily walk. We have a sort of pick up stick so we don't have to touch anything. Masks, millions of Costa cups and Red Bull cans, Macdonalds crap. Can often fill a carrier bag on a 40 minute walk. That's just general crap thrown by van drivers and yoofs, but when you have rich campervan drivers opening their waste taps in ditches...

    And will someone PLEASE explain to me about the dog shit bag thing..?

  • for a little bit of defense my lud.

    I spent last night at Sango Sands. The pub was being well managed re anti social distancing. The loos/showers looked (yeah I know looked) clean and regularly checked.

    It was rammed by 8pm last night.

    There was some appallingly bad camper van driving when I joined the road at Tongue. There should be a vehicle length limit.

    Ref rubbish , as I said in defence, every place a camper van could be parked up, between Durness and Ullapool, was being used .

    OK it was a cursory glance in passing but I never noticed any bad practice going on.

    I hope some of yesterday's drivers have nightmares about it for years though and never go back.

    I hardly saw a vehicle on the Lairg, Alnaharra, Tongue road (apart from the wind farm site).

  • Three Dawg, you are not alone in your sentiments.

    To be fair this has been going on for ages on the west coast, although not in such large numbers. I know of a crofter in Skye whose fence was taken down for firewood. He simply cut their tyre valves when they were asleep and then charged them for getting them out. Extreme I know, but drastic actions sometimes only way to treat these fekers.

    If you are talking to the local plod, I don't suppose they have even thought of issuing with an ASBO ?

    Think of it this way, you are pootling about on your bike in the woods, plod comes along and issues you with an ASBO, not on yourself only, but you and the bike. So if you get caught again, I think within a year ? you get done and the bike is taken off you permanently.

    Now call me old fashioned, but I consider shitting in a public place anti social. :cursing:

    Get the fekers rolled out and issue ASBOS like confetti. With a bit of luck they will re offend within a year.

    Anyways, once all this is over the cnuts will be off to sunny beaches of Ibiza once again.

    Or will they be so impressed with the scenery and the weather, they might want to come back ??

    As an aside, my mate was telling me that once the "border" was open, they were literally hundreds of campers trundling over here.

    Fekin not on X(

    Greenest XRV Africa Twin , Yamaha WR450F, Yamaha Tenere

    Yesterday is History, Tomorrow's a Mystery 8)

  • This is a good idea;


    "Highland Council is to ease licensing regulations to enable landowners with suitable sites to provide continental style motorhome stopovers, known as ‘Aire’."

    I can still see problems, since allowing stop over sites works for self-contained campers, but what about the many that have no toilet? The news article points out that there are 360,000 campers in the UK and most will not be able to go abroad this year. That may balance out with fewer foreign campers arriving in the UK.

  • I don't know what the solution is, apart from everyone taking some personal responsibility and being considerate to others. I think campsite capacity is only part of the problem - I think van owners like to save money by not paying. The Highland council initiative is good, hopefully it will not impact on the revenue stream of campsite owners.

    It's not just gits in campervans - I was not impressed by some of the creaky old gadgies who were roaring off down Tomintoul high street on their bikes last Sunday, would piss me off mightily if I lived there.

    A very famous pass in South Africa has been closed recently (The Old Postal Road in the Cederberg, Western Cape) because of the actions of some idiot bike riders - the farmers who own the road are sick and tired of having people blasting through their property with no regard for livestock, dogs and children. And it's not the only one - anyone following Itchy Boots recently will have seen another road permanently closed with a new gate opened by a code (Naughty Noraly squeezed through anyway...)

    It is very easy find yourself being banned or at least unwelcome. Plenty of routes in Europe closed to bikes at the weekend. As usual it's the irresponsible few.

  • I firmly believe there should be a length limit on the campervans allowed on single track roads with heavy fines for breaking that limit.

    The front van of the two I got stuck behind on Tuesday had to stop at nearly every corner to inch round.

    If the van behind him was a pal he was an idiot for being there.

    If he was not "with" the front van he was an idiot for not pulling in someplace to make a cup of tea and dissociating himself from the problem.

    Part of the problem is the number of vans. I am not sure increasing overnight stop capacity helps non campervan travellers.

    Increase public toilet capacity for sure but make them campervan proof.

  • Ha ha, you want to try that road in the snow, real ass twitcher ^^

    I was on four wheels and nearly came a cropper on that tiny bridge at the bottom of the hill =O

    Greenest XRV Africa Twin , Yamaha WR450F, Yamaha Tenere

    Yesterday is History, Tomorrow's a Mystery 8)

  • With contactless payment being so popular now, they should be printing the purchasers details on the potential rubbish. It's not fool proof, but would certainly make them think twice if a fine came through the door for littering.

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  • I see in the Press and Journal this morning that there is a bit of lobbying going on in Applecross --- "to withdraw from the NC500".

    Seems to me that there is at least one technical issue with that , specifically that a road goes through the village !

    If they want to agree they will not offer food or drinks to anyone who is not staying in local, paying accomodation, for at least two nights --- I guess they could administer that.

    If the get the cooncill to have stopping/places only at paying accomodation I guessing that would help.

    Toll barriers on the road at "both ends" might help if the cooncill agree.

    I fear however the Genie is out of the bottle !

  • Victim of it's own success. The Venice of the North perhaps?^^

    Time an time again though it's complaints about campervans that I hear from our guests who live over on the west coast. I have no idea what you do about them - you can't measure each one at the beginning of a stretch of single track and turn around the big 'uns.

    And bikes are vulnerable - if I lived in Tomintoul I'd be quite happy not to have wankers with loud pipes blasting off down the high street of a Sunday afternoon. A village lobbies hard enough and suddenly European-style bans on bikes on certain roads at the weekend start creeping in...

  • This just reminds me of the good old British regard to customer service I received in Arran one time....had gone lunchtime and we stopped to try and get a bag of chips before the ferry...place was quite busy and the reply I got from the slightly less than happy lady over the counter was, "..the fryer's not been on all day and I'm no putting on just for you...". Needless to say we left.;)

    As for voting to cut your nose off to spite your face, they complain when it's quiet and no tourist money but the moment it gets a crowd...it's shut the place down to day trippers or passers through. They say the West Coast is the friendliest place too...maybe they meant Ireland?8o

    I think once this blows over, the crowds will disappear back to Europe...it's just one of the problems having neighbours with 61 million folk. :/

  • I see measuring the campervans as straight forward.

    ANPR cameras at the Lairg, Lochinver, Laxford, Tongue, JohnoG and the rest, Junctions.

    Publicise it well.

    Fines are automatically issued if the ANPR picks up the reg of an "oversize vehicle" on any of the single track road junctions.

    Repeat fines at each junction.

    Commercial vehicles are not included.

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