Caithness Business Owner Calls for Urgent Road Repairs Amid Tourism Concerns

In the picturesque region of Caithness, known for its rugged landscapes and as a part of the iconic North Coast 500 route, a local business owner has voiced significant concerns over the state of the roads leading to her tourism venture.

Debbie Prouse, who runs Hillside Camping Pods at Auckengill, has reached out to the Highland Council, highlighting the dire condition of the access road to her property and its potential impact on the upcoming tourist season.

The Road to Disrepair:

Situated off the A99, the road to Hillside Camping Pods is described by Prouse as being in a “horrendous” state, with deep ruts and large potholes that pose a challenge to visitors trying to reach the site.

The condition of the road is such that it is “literally falling apart,” according to Prouse, who fears the impact this may have on guest experiences and, ultimately, her business.

A Plea for Action:

Despite multiple reports to the Highland Council and an official complaint outlining the road’s condition, Prouse has seen little to no action taken to address the issue. The frustration is compounded by the fact that revenue from short-term let licensing fees, which Prouse was told would be allocated towards tourism infrastructure, appears not to have been utilised for such improvements.

The Impact on Tourism:

The North Coast 500 has become a significant draw for tourists seeking to explore the Scottish Highlands, with businesses along the route relying heavily on the influx of visitors.

The state of the road not only presents a physical barrier to accessing Hillside Camping Pods but also risks deterring tourists from venturing to this part of Caithness.

Prouse’s concerns echo a broader issue facing rural tourism operators: the need for adequate infrastructure to support and sustain visitor numbers.

Looking Ahead:

As the new season approaches, the urgency for road repairs near Auckengill becomes ever more critical.

The Highland Council’s response to these concerns will be closely watched by local businesses and the tourism community. The situation at Hillside Camping Pods serves as a reminder of the vital role that infrastructure plays in the viability of tourism ventures and the overall visitor experience in the Highlands.


The appeal from Debbie Prouse for road repairs is more than a call for infrastructure improvement; it’s a plea to ensure the sustainability of tourism in Caithness.

As the Highland Council considers its next steps, the hope is that action will be taken swiftly to address these concerns, safeguarding the future of local businesses and the reputation of the North Coast 500 as a premier tourist destination.

You might also Like