A SCOTS artist who has highlighted the damage being caused by an explosion of tourists in one of Scotland’s most scenic areas has said conditions are worsening despite the addition of double yellow lines.

Hope Blamire shared the “ugly truth” of what was happening along the B8008 between Arisaig and Morar, with blocked roads, people defecating on beaches made famous by the film Local Hero, and primary pupils being unable to visit them because of the risk of stepping in human excrement.

Our sister paper the Sunday National ran the story last week, and Blamire said Highland Council stepped in and painted double yellow lines on the road at the Silver Sands of Morar.

However, after visiting the beach on Wednesday, she said things were getting worse: “More than 230 cars parked today, on this B road between Traigh beach and the Silver Sands of Morar – 230!

“The local bus got stuck. The last I heard, they were awaiting a recovery truck to lift some of the 230 illegally parked/selfishly parked, inconsiderately parked cars.

“Can you imagine what it’s like to live here? The narrow roads are not made for this kind of behaviour.

“Local steering groups have spent years trying to improve this ever worsening situation by building public toilets and trying to create additional parking, but they cannot cope with 230 vehicles parked at the roadside.”

She said there are Facebook groups with more than 100,000 members where people encourage others to camp for free on these beaches, but they park on the road and do not bother if they block ambulances or buses.

One local told The National: “We have a house across the water and there were hundreds of people on the beach and I watched as the bus sat stuck for over an hour.

“On Tuesday we drove along that road to Arisaig and we had problems getting through some places with a Ford Focus – so yes it was horrendous! There were cars along the whole stretch to the Arisaig beach.

"Most don’t spend anything locally so considering the problems they cause, they don’t contribute anything to coming up with a solution.”

Another said: “Thank you for highlighting this problem again. So sad that this is happening all over the place.

“A car was dumped in Applecross over the weekend by one lot of visitors, and then some bikers set it on fire last night. The local rural fire service had to attend at 1am. Why would people come here and do that?”

A Highland Council spokesperson told The National: “Police Scotland are still responsible for enforcement of reportable offences such as dangerous parking or obstruction.

“The Highland Council’s Parking Enforcement Officers can only enforce parking restrictions where there are signs and lines in place under a Traffic Regulatory Order.

“Obstruction of the carriageway is a police matter.”

Police Scotland area commander for South Highland, Chief Inspector Jen Valentine, said: “We are aware of the ongoing issues regarding inconsiderate parking near the beaches at Morar and Arisaig.

“Officers carry out routine patrols in these areas and we are working closely with Highland Council. “We urge people to be responsible and considerate to the areas they are visiting.

“Any vehicle should be parked safely and drivers must ensure that a clear route is available at all times and that you are not blocking access.”