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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

A tourist bus service has been cancelled due to the curse of potholes

It is arguably the least used road in the country – partly because it goes through a bomb range.

But the minibus service which takes tourists to remote Cape Wrath, in Sutherland, has had to stop because of ‘waist-deep’ potholes.

The holes were described as among the ‘deepest in the country’ by a councillor, who said the road looked like the military had ‘missed their bombing target’.

Stuart Ross, who runs Cape Wrath Mini Bus, is now seeking compensation from Highland Council for not repairing the road, officially known as the U70.

Storms have worsened the route, which snakes through one of Europe’s largest bombing ranges, but despite Mr Ross raising the alarm in February, the road remained unfixed.

The businessman has been forced to cancel all his bookings until the end of June because of the state of the carriageway.

He took over the seasonal service two years ago and has sunk more than £60,000 into the business, which sees around 5,000 passengers step on board every summer.

Mr Ross, who lives in nearby Durness, said: ‘I have ploughed a lot of money into my business and now I cannot operate.

‘We were promised by the council that the road would get fixed but it hasn’t been and now I’ve had to cancel all my bookings to at least the end of June.

‘There are some potholes that are waist deep. You just could not drive with passengers over several sections of that road.’

He added: ‘It is horrendous. I am now looking for compensation from the council.

‘There are huge ruts deeper than a tyre. Even the MoD vehicles are struggling – one of them bust two tyres.’

Mr Ross said Britain’s smallest ferry across the Kyle of Durness and the cape’s only permanent residents, John Ure and his daughter Angela, who run a cafe and bunkhouse at the lighthouse, are also struggling.

Mr Ure said: ‘We rely greatly on the minibuses for trade. The road is impassable – it needs completely resurfacing.

‘This has been going on for months and we are struggling on.’

The pothole problem has been a hot topic at Durness Community Council, which decided on Monday to write to Highland Council to demand that repairs are carried out urgently.

Local Highland councillor Hugh Morrison said he had received assurances that the repairs would soon be carried out.

‘Some of these potholes must be among the worst and deepest in the country,’ Mr Morrison said.

‘It looks like the MoD missed their bombing target – it’s that bad.’

He added that Durness, which is on the popular NC500 route, was also being affected, as going to Cape Wrath was one of the main attractions.

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