Highlands & Islands

Impact of Highland Council removing signs to be reviewed

No overnight parking sign
Image caption The 'no overnight parking' signs were thought to date from the 1990s

Highland Council is to carry out a review of what effect the removal of "no overnight parking" signs from lay-bys has had.

The local authority was forced to take down the signs from sites it has responsibility for last year following a campaign by Andy Strangeway.

The adventurer said the lay-bys should be available as rest stops.

Council officials report that removing the signs has led to some problems and a proper assessment would be made.

In answer to a question from Fort William and Ardnamurchan councillor Andrew Baxter, the officials said problems already identified could be dealt with by Police Scotland.

Mr Baxter's question about the impact of removing the signs and the officials' response will be considered at a meeting of the full council next week.

Highland councillors voted on the future of the signs last September.

Transport Scotland had already committed to removing 50 notices from trunk roads.

Mr Strangeway, from East Yorkshire but a regular visitor to the Highlands and Islands, started lobbying for the signs to be removed in 2011.

Image caption Andy Strangeway campaigned for the signs to be removed

He argued that drivers should be allowed to pull over and rest in roadside lay-bys.

In 2007, Mr Strangeway completed an attempt to sleep on all of the 162 Scottish islands which are 98.8 acres (40 ha) or larger.

The 'no overnight parking' signs were thought to date from the 1990s.

They were put up to to discourage overnight parking of caravans and motor caravans in rural lay-bys where there were no facilities for the disposal of waste.

The signs had also been intended to support the local economy by encouraging tourists to make use of the commercially operated caravan sites in the region.

The local authority said last year the signs were "advisory" and it had never made any efforts to enforce the message they carried.

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