April 11, 2009

‘Road to the Isles’ now entirely two-lane

The Road to the Isles through some of Scotland's most dramatic scenery and history has finally acquired two lanes through its entire 45 miles.

Scottish Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson plans to open the fourth and final section of the route to be upgraded on Wednesday, The Scotsman reports. With luck, drivers will be able to complete the journey from Fort William to Mallaig in 45 minutes if they are in a hurry.

The A830, formerly infamous for its one-lane stretches and sharp turns, passes the place where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised the Stuart standard in 1745 and the bay where he left the Scottish mainland forever after the battle of Culloden. In addition to tourists lured by views of the Isle of Skye, it is used by trucks carrying fish to market.

Charlie King, a former member of the Mallaig council, said that the town is the biggest herring port in Europe and we had the worst road in Europe.

There were a lot of objections, usually from people who don't live here, saying we were spoiling the romantic appearance of the road, King said. We argued we just wanted a decent road.