PEOPLE have reacted with anger as a number of issues continue to plague the popular NC500 road trip route. 

Problems on the route have been well documented and we have previously told how speeding and a lack of toilet facilities have caused problems.

It was also recently revealed that a Scottish council has permanently banned caravans from a Highland car park on the route.

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Over the weekend, members of the NC500: The Dirty Truth group on Facebook shared further frustrations with issues along the route, including people posting love locks and overflowing bins.

Litter issues

On April 12, one group member shared a video saying they had come to the NC500 to look at “all the marvellous sights along the way”.

However, they shared a video which showed a number of bins overflowing as people attempted to cram rubbish into them.

It said: “It’s such a beautiful place. So the glitzy videos online tell us anyway. Sadly so often reality paints a different picture.

The National: Image Credit: Cameron Michaels

“The sign says, ‘if this bin is full please take your waste away with you’. Alas it appears some think that the sign doesn’t apply to them as they cram their rubbish into the bins, so much so that they overflow.

“Guess what happens when they do that? Bet you don’t see this mess in any YouTube videos.”

A separate post on Sunday showed one group member taking matters into their own hands.

They said they kept a littler picker in their car and posted an image of a bag full of rubbish from the side of the road.

The National: Image credit: Cameron Michaels​

“The amount of litter left, not just by those from up here, but those who visit the area is staggering,” they said.

“I see lots of glossy videos of the NC500 showing white sandy beaches and folk admiring the vistas etc, but the reality is so different if you open your eyes. Take your rubbish home with you, don’t leave it for others.”

A number of people took to the comments to share their frustration, with one saying, “we always know tourist season is starting when litter starts appearing along the roadside”.

Another commented: “It totally puts me off visiting having done so since the early eighties.”

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In the comments section, Cameron Michaels, who had posted the image of the bag full of rubbish, also said he had previously found human waste on the route.

“Why visit then disgrace such a beautiful place,” said another.

Love locks

A separate post also expressed frustration with the number of love locks left on a bridge at Rogie Falls, near the village of Contin.

A love lock is a padlock with couple’s names engraved on it which is often left along a bridge.

A post on the Dirty Truth group said: “Rogie Falls this evening. A lovely location on the NC500 being spoiled by those who think the place is enhanced by leaving padlocks declaring their undying love for one another on the bridge.

The National:


“The amount left is increasing and it’s nothing more than litter.”

Many people in the comments again expressed anger, with one saying there was “absolutely no need for this” while another said they should all be removed.

“Seems to be growing everywhere. I wonder if it’s driven by social media because how many people are wandering about with padlocks do this spontaneously,” said a third Facebook user.

“People should leave a place as they found it,” a fourth commented while a fifth said it was "disgraceful" to see the locks placed along the bridge. 

Back in 2019, Highland Council had to step in to remove the love locks from two pedestrian bridges in Inverness.  

A similar issue occurred in 2021, with the local authority again stepping in to remove them from the Coghill Bridge at Wick riverside.