Argyll and Bute has the second highest number of complaints about cattle grids in the whole of the UK, research finds.

Statistics from Direct Line Motor Insurance have revealed that between January 2020 and September 2023, 28 issues were raised by drivers about cattle grids within the council area.

The only area ahead of Argyll and Bute was Devon, at 69 complaints, while Dumfries and Galloway was third with just six.

According to the research, many urban drivers find cattle grids confusing and actively avoid them.

Lorraine Price, head of motor insurance at Direct Line, said: “For many living in rural areas cattle grids are a road well-trodden, yet there appears to be a cohort of younger and urban drivers who find them confusing, actively avoid them and damaging their vehicles on them.

“For these drivers some simple advice such as safely slowing down when you approach a cattle grid, being aware of the increased likelihood of seeing animals in the surrounding area and being conscious not to play loud music that may disturb them are all good tips”.

The study found that 30 per cent of those living in urban areas have taken alternative routes to avoid cattle grids as opposed to four per cent of rural dwellers.

Additionally, 34 per cent of 18–34-year-olds admitted to taking alternative routes to avoid cattle grids, compared to only two per cent of over 55s – with the average 18–34-year-old driver adding 3.9 miles to their journey due to rerouting.

The findings also showed that over a quarter (27 per cent) of urban drivers believed cattle grids are hazardous to drivers – with the average non-rural motorist adding 4.1miles to their journey because of rerouting.

However, only nine per cent of local councils recorded cattle grid accidents involving humans in the past four years while 40 per cent have recorded complaints about cattle grids from drivers.

The UK’s Standards for Highways states: “It is necessary for vehicles to cross cattle grids at relatively low speeds.”

“[Road users should] slow down safely prior to reaching them.”