Mull is a wonderful island to explore by road. The scenery is breath taking in every direction and the roads are generally quiet, at least when compared to more heavily populated areas of the United Kingdom. However, with the majority of roads around the island being single track and only wide enough for one car from verge to verge, a slightly different approach to driving is needed.
Here are a few general tips from Luxury Mull to help you along your way:
Take your time, concentrate, but relax.
The roads are narrow, twisting and have blind summits in places. So drive within your limits and with care. An approaching car may be just around the corner.
Wildlife, and not-so-wildlife
Deer, otters, sheep and cows all believe they have right of way on our picturesque roads. For the sake of your paintwork and bumpers it’s generally best not to argue with their point of view. Always drive with the belief that Daisy the Highland cow has a rather immovable backside when she chooses to use the road as her own personal catwalk. And at the smaller scale of all creatures great and small, otters can remain hidden in long roadside grass until the very last second before choosing to step out in front of you.
There are passing places at regular intervals along all single-track roads around the island. They’re denoted by signs or black and white poles. The golden rules are:
1. Let oncoming traffic past and let faster moving traffic from behind come past you at passing places.
2. ALWAYS keep left, no matter which side of the road the passing place is on.
3. Always say thank you with a wave, whether passing or letting someone else past. It’s the island way!
4. Be prepared to reverse. Sometimes you may meet another vehicle between passing places. Sometimes it may appear that it would be easier for the other vehicle to reverse than it is for you. But remember, the other driver may not be as confident or be driving an unfamiliar hire car, for example. Don’t have a standoff, select reverse, smile and wave. Set the example, you’ll have a better day.
5. Passing places are not for picnics, so don’t park in them and get out a flask and a couple of deckchairs. It doesn’t go down too well.
6. Make your intentions known early on. Don’t keep driving towards another vehicle until the very last moment. Pull into a passing place in good time.
Stay on the road.
Verges and roadsides are often soft or may be hiding a low wall or bolder. It can be tempting to try and squeeze past each other if meeting another vehicle between passing places but it can prove to be costly so why take the chance.
Use your mirrors.
People have different reasons for being on the road – some are taking in the scenery while others are rushing for the ferry. Check your mirrors regularly and be prepared to let others past.
Mull is a wonderful island to enjoy by road and you don’t need to be nervous if single-track roads are something new to you. Keep left at passing places, plan ahead and think of others. It’s quite simple really.
For more information visit Scottish Info and click on:
*Finally…..Luxury Mull is not a qualified driving advisor and the text above is provided as a general guide only. Drive safely.