THE ROMANCE OF THE SINGLE TRACK ROADS OF THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS
The single track roads are usually built on top of the old drove roads of the Scottish Highlands. So they are very very old. For a thousand years, cattle have been driven from the North and West, passed on from drover to drover until they end up in the market trysts of Falkirk. To-day these old roads are not wide enough for two cars to pass.
SIX THINGS TO REMEMBER ABOUT THESE SINGLE TRACK ROADS on your Scottish holiday
1. The spaces on either side of the road are for cars to pass, not for parking. If you park there, they’ll all think you are English and don’t know any better.
2. The dangers are blind bends, and blind summits. There are few accidents on these roads, but whenever it happens you can be sure a blind spot is involved
3. If the passing place is on the right, then stop the car on the left in the carriageway.
4. If you find traffic tailgating you, then pull in to a passing place to let them all pass. If you don’t they’ll harass you all the way to the ferry they are going to miss unless you pull over. They might not get to Tobermory that night. Ouch!
5. Traffic going downhill should be kind to traffic going uphill.
6. Let working people and locals have priority. The driver you shake you fist at might be scrambling your eggs next morning. Then making out your bill….
DRIVER’S HAND SIGNALS ON THESE NARROW ROADS
A single finger raised is a local.
A finger from each hand raised with a smile is the local hotel keeper
A full, long and cheery wave with a smile is another holidaymaker
Open hand, no smile, straight ahead look, is a commercial driver.
No wave, no look, the driver is probably Dutch and has not yet caught on.
A two fingered sign may be given behind an offending driver’s back.
I’ve been here a thousand years longer than you have chum
You are on my road
Single track minor Roads in the Scottish Highlands
CODE OF PRACTICE The rule is that the driver who waits receives the first signal and then responds with a signal of his own within one second