Drive Safely on Islayâ€™s Country Roads - Advice from The Highway Code and Strathclyde Police:
With so many visitors currently holidaying in Islay, many drivers and cyclists here for the first time, it's a good moment to pass on some information which can help all road users to keep safe on Islay's narrow and single-track country roads. The Highway Code states clearly that: "The Highway Code is essential reading for everyone. The most vulnerable road users are pedestrians, particularly children, older or disabled people, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders. It is important that all road users are aware of the Code and are considerate towards each other. This applies to pedestrians as much as to drivers and riders." These rules apply to England, Wales and Scotland. The Islayinfo website has a page with the most important Highway codes and advice on how to Drive Safely on Islay's Single Track Roads. The page has been updated today and I thought it would be a good idea to publish some of this advice on the blog as well. After all, when you visit the island you don't want to prevent the locals from doing their job by blocking gates for farm traffic or by creating dangerous situations on the road. Continue reading.....Driving on country roads needs to be taken steadily, and drivers must be ready to stop at any time to avoid unexpected hazards. Roads can become narrow at old bridges and places where there are stone walls on both sides of the road. Give slower, non-motorised road users such as walkers, cyclists, horse riders and farm livestock or wild animals enough time and space to move either into a passing place or off the road. Pass wide and slowly.
In Islay, many passing places are marked by black and white poles at the roadsides, but some passing places are not marked. Drivers using single-track roads must be able to reverse to a passing place in order to let other vehicles pass. Sometimes drivers must reverse more than a metre or two. Driving onto verges to avoid reversing is not recommended, as cars may be damaged or get stuck in roadside ditches. In Islay, itâ€™s usual to give a friendly wave as â€˜thank youâ€™ if another road user has reversed or waited for you to pass. It makes all the difference !
One of many single track roads on Islay
Parking in a passing place while you watch birds, photograph the scenery etc.or leaving your vehicle while you go for a walk will prevent other road users from using the passing place. If you must stop your car in a passing place for a short time, be prepared to drive on immediately if the passing place is needed by another road user. Parking at entrances of farm tracks, in front of field gates or at cattle grid gates prevents access by farm personnel, livestock and large farm machinery, and also by others who live and work in the countryside. Frequent access to gates is usually needed. It may not be easy to see that these access points are in regular use, but that is usually the case.