These are dangerous times on Islay for your car, motorbike or even bicycle. The condition of most of Islay's roads is not great and some single track roads are almost too bad to drive on. The roads from Loch Gruinart to Ardnave and Killinallan have degraded to a state that the word road is no longer applicable. The last few hundred metres to the Gruinart RSPB reserve from Bridgend is very bad as well. And only a few days ago when I was heading for Kilchoman Beach I noticed that this road is now in a terrible state as well. I've seen hardly any signs of structural maintenance on the roads this year, apart from the low road, other than filling potholes. And with the council budget under severe pressure it will get even worse!
In a letter in the Ileach the community council wrote: “Islay’s roads and passing places are deteriorating at an alarming rate, and comes as a result of having so many lorries and commercial vehicles travelling on the island,” explained Community Council Chairman, Islay McEachern. And yet, rather than spending the funds necessary to bring them back to an functioning standard, the roads’ budget is now half of what it was three years ago“. Argyll and Bute Council has shared figures with the community council which show that from 2014-15 until this year, their spending on our roads has been reduced by 50% - from £988,498 to £494,904 - due to budget cuts”. Continue reading....
With winter and more rain and darkness arriving on the island there is an added danger. Potholes, which were visible, are now filled with water or are fully submerged and hidden by floods resulting in rather tricky driving conditions which can cause severe damage to your car. I have seen some potholes, 10cm deep, now filled with water. Unless you drive a sturdy 4x4 you'll risk punctures and damages to your wheels and suspension. So my advice, especially for tourists who are not used to these conditions, would be to drive with extra caution!
Flood on the roads outside Port Charlotte