Calls for speed limit on notorious road following pedestrian's death

Angus Ross, 85, died in a collision with a motorcyclist on a stretch of the A836 known locally as the Balblair Straight.

Residents mourning the death of a pensioner on a notorious Highland road want its speed limit lowered to save lives.

Angus Ross, 85, died last month after being struck by a motorcyclist on a stretch of the A836 known locally as the Balblair Straight, where vehicles can drive at a maximum of 60mph.

Police say local officers and specialist colleagues “routinely carry out patrols to enforce speed limits and act as a deterrent.”

The latest fatality shocked horse breeder Reay Campbell, who owns a stables beside the Bonar Bridge-Lairg route.

Eight years ago, one of her horses was killed on the straight after it broke free and was hit by a car.

She said: “If I hadn’t jumped, and I’m not particularly good at jumping, it certainly would have killed me, without a doubt.”

The driver was convicted after allegedly ignoring the flashing lights of two vehicles at the scene and was subsequently banned from the wheel for six months.

Angus Ross, 85, died following collision with motorcycle on A836 on July 19

Residents say speeding on the straight is now common.

“There are more houses here as well, so the number of people who are vulnerable has increased, Mrs Campbell said.

“There’s no doubt it’s getting much worse and people are so disrespectful in the way that they drive.”

The community wants new safety measures between Invershin and Bonar Bridge. Some residents have called for speed cameras, double white lines and a 50mph limit on the straight.

Some are contemplating bringing in their own speed cameras if the authorities do not act quickly.

Matthew Wells, a father, said: “It’s become very, very fast, I think with a mixture of traffic, and what really concerns us is the school bus in the morning and the afternoon.

“Because it’s such a straight piece of road, people assume that it’s safe but it’s actually the exact opposite, I think.”

Local Highland councillor Michael Baird has raised the issue with the local authority’s roads officers.

Council officers have liaised with the police in regard to last month’s tragedy but a spokeswoman for the local authority said: “No issues were raised in terms of the road environment at the location.”

Residents want the council to install speed monitoring equipment to prove their point and avert another tragedy.

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