POTD: The Narrow Road

POTD: The Narrow RoadThe Narrow Road
Isle of Mull, Scotland
2015

The good news is that most, if not all, of the major roads on Mull are paved. The bad news is that this is how wide many of them are. And they’re two way roads, and there are often bushes on both sides, and blind hills and corners, and ditch drop-offs or walls right at the edge of the pavement. I think the roads are so narrow here that if you collected all the asphalt into one place it would hardly be enough to pave they typical Walmart Super Center parking lot in the U.S.

There are little pull-outs scattered along the roads where one car can pull over to let another pass. If you see one between you and an oncoming car then either you or they pull in and let the other pass. If you meet someone between pull-outs, then one of you has to back up to one.

This all works surprisingly efficiently unless there is too much traffic. Our landlady told us that once a garbage truck meet up with a camper van in a steep area and neither wanted to back up to a pull-out for fear of backing off the road. So they had a standoff while traffic began to back up on both sides of them exacerbating the problem. The police finally arrived and spent several hours unraveling everything and getting folks on their way again.

2 thoughts on “POTD: The Narrow Road”

  1. Because Ireland joined the EU they got a big investment in infrastructure that included the M class divided highways – but- you may remember they retained many of the secondary roads like the one you show here in the hinderlands. Our bus driver was well experienced and shared with us the info that a license plate beginning with E15 meant a rental car. He said when you were on the back roads in a bus and you saw one of those cars approach it was always great fun to continue on and watch the face of the driver go from concern to panic or fear!

    1. Yes, the problem in the more rural parts of Ireland was not that there were one-lane, two-way traffic roads like there are in Scotland but that they seemingly forced two lanes into a one-lane space. We drove many miles there and I was one of those rental car drivers who grimaced immensely when passing a tour bus coming from the opposite direction, especially when driving the Ring of Kerry. I don’t think I actually did but I got the feeling I would just line up our car the best I could and then close my eyes briefly right when we passed the buses.

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