Glencoe: Best road in UK 14 | 10 | 2010

    ONE OF SCOTLAND'S most majestic roads, the picturesque A82 from Glasgow to Fort William — which winds its way through Glencoe and along the western shore of Loch Ness — has been crowned Britain’s best road. But in the scientific survey carried out by Mobil 1, the A74 from Lanarkshire to Kirkton was also uncovered as the bumpiest as well as noisiest road in Britain.

    Mobil 1 commandeered TV chef and car nut James Martin to drive numerous roads in the UK capturing data, including vibration and noise readings of the road, levels of the stress hormone Cortisol in James’ body, and his heart rate.

    From this information, an equation — taking the physical readings of the road, dividing it by the physiological recordings and then multiplying the result by a ‘driveability’ rating — was developed to measure the roads to determine the rankings of the best and worst routes which had been shortlisted by the public.

    “What I find most interesting is that the results show that Brits don’t just like a smooth drive, they like to really experience and feel the road," Martin, whose test also placed the A696 Scottish Borders to Newcastle fifth in the 'best road' rankings, said.

    "The A82 was a truly outstanding road that I encourage everyone to drive; the road was raw and real, and in this case the vibration and noise made it feel like a real drive. The variety of road, the difference in bends, inclines and dramatic changing scenery from loch to glen keeps the driver guessing at every corner.”

    But there were black marks for Scottish roads as well. Decibel levels on the A74 from Lanarkshire to Kirkton were over 80db, the noise equivalent to a whistle being blown inside the car.

    And it will come as no surprise to regular commuters between Glasgow and Edinburgh that the M8 between the two cities was ranked the third worst road in the UK.

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    Jim McGill

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