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Highland Council vows to take action over ‘dangerous’ potholes on Isle of Skye

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Highland Council has vowed to take immediate action after a video of a pothole-filled road on the picturesque Isle of Skye sparked anger online.

Katie MacKay shared a clip of the damaged A850 at Skeabost, stating that “enough is enough”.

Speaking to Sky News, Ms MacKay claimed that the roads around Skye have been bad for a year and have now deteriorated further due to the recent winter weather.

She said: “We normally have a mild climate but there was a cold snap before Christmas which annihilated roads that were already annihilated.”

The solicitor, who lives and works in Skye, travels around 20 miles a day “over some very broken roads” from the west of the isle to Portree.

She explained that the loose stones and pebbles are a hazard to drivers and their vehicles.

Ms MacKay said: “That’s a main road, a busy route. The condition is now dangerous.”

After posting the video online on Twitter and Facebook, several others chimed in over the crater-ridden road.

One Twitter user said: “That’s horrendous! A real tyre, wheel, and suspension buster!”

Another added: “This road is an accident waiting to happen, so dangerous.”

Anna Kate Barton stated: “As a popular tourist destination and for Skye’s locals virtually all of whom live rurally, things really need to be better than this!”

Chef Calum Montgomery, the owner of Edinbane Lodge, told Sky News: “It is disappointing to see such lack of funding and urgency to repair and maintain our main roads on the island which have taken on much more traffic since the like of picturesque social media images have attracted so many more visitors to the island over the past decade.”

Sunrise over the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.
Image:
Sunrise over the Old Man of Storr

Ms MacKay agreed that tourism has boomed since 2015 thanks to Instagram-worthy beauty spots like the Old Man of Storr and the Fairy Pools.

The pandemic also reportedly led to a surge in visitors when international travel was restricted.

The Isle of Skye is 50 miles long. The Visit Scotland website says: “Skye is a truly magical place. The largest of the Inner Hebrides, it’s home to some of Scotland’s most iconic landscapes.

“The island has countless ways to enchant you, with its mountain ranges, miles of dramatic coastline and captivating history.”

Ms MacKay said she had reported the damaged roads to the council but felt she was “banging her head against a wall”.

She said she had been left “disappointed”, adding: “That’s why I uploaded the video.”

The move did the trick.

‘Several key stretches of main road are in a very poor state’

In response, Highland Council has since confirmed that teams have been mobilised to start resurfacing works on Wednesday on the A863 Sligachan – Dunvegan at Crossal, A850 Borve – Dunvegan at Skeabost, and A855 Portree – Staffin north of Torvaig Junction.

Read more:
Edinburgh branded ‘pothole capital of Europe’
Winter has been ‘perfect recipe’ for damage, drivers warned

Councillor John Finlayson, chair of the Isle of Skye and Raasay Committee, said: “Like all Skye residents I appreciate the angst being expressed by locals about the state of our roads and at present several key stretches of main road are in a very poor state.

“However, I am pleased to hear that works will commence immediately, weather permitting.

“Work would have started earlier but recent weather conditions have not only caused extensive, further damage to the roads, but have also meant work could not start as you cannot tar in torrential rain, frost and snow.”

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