Leading car insurer, LV=, has today named the route from Lochgilphead to the Glencoe Mountains in Scotland as the UK's most retirement-friendly road. Voted for by drivers who are retired, the 66-mile journey - which takes in stretches of the A816 and the A828 - has now been transformed into the UK's very own 'Route 66'.
Two people stopped by side of road in a red and a blue car
LV= launched the initiative after learning of confidence issues affecting retired drivers. In research conducted among motorists aged 65 and over, figures revealed that three quarters (74%) curtail the amount of driving they do once they hit retirement, with more than a fifth (22%) going as far as calling themselves a 'nervous' driver. The respondents cited issues such as overcrowded roads (57%), health-related concerns (19%) and the worsening of their eyesight (9%) as the main reasons they felt less confident about driving.
The newly-branded 'Route 66' is designed to provide a welcome antidote to motorists seeking a more relaxing ride. The scenic drive, which starts in the town of Lochgilphead in Argyll and Bute and culminates in the Glencoe Mountains (at South Ballachulish), features dramatic scenery, historic castles and a host of other tourist-friendly attractions.
Two people driving a red car
Scotland was comfortably the over-65s' favourite driving location in the UK according to LV='s research. It secured 17% of the vote - with many among this group identifying the West Coast specifically - while Wales received 8%, followed by Yorkshire (7%) and the Lake District (4%). LV= also considered factors such as the amount of viewpoints, points of interest and rest stops along the way when creating 'Route 66'.
Selwyn Fernandes, Managing Director of Car Insurance at LV=, said: "We’re thrilled to name this beautiful section of road as the most retirement-friendly in the UK. Most drivers who have retired have decades of experience behind the wheel, but as our research shows they increasingly start to feel less confident on the road. By creating a 'Route 66' in the UK, we’re helping these drivers feel more confident by providing a special stretch of road just for them."
The rural setting of 'Route 66' should prove popular with retired drivers, particularly given LV='s research highlights that more than three fifths (62%) of older motorists limit their motorway driving to occasional use and prefer smaller roads.
To help give older drivers more confidence when driving - particularly along the newly-branded 'Route 66' - LV= is offering drivers over the age of 65 free coffee, cake or soft drinks at three venues along the drive. All motorists need to do is visit either The Kilmartin Museum Café, The Loch Melfort Hotel in Arduaine, or The Loch Leven Hotel near Ballachulish. The offer runs until the end of August and anyone wanting to use social media to let people know they were on 'Route 66' can use the hashtag #LVRoute66.
To celebrate the launch of the initiative, LV= treated two of its older customers and members - Barbara Rouse from Liverpool and John Higgin from Ayrshire - to a day's motoring along 'Route 66' in a classic 1972 Triumph Spitfire and a 1960s' Chevrolet Nova. Both models are insured under LV='s specialist classic car insurance policies.
To find out more about 'Route 66' and LV='s full range of motor insurance policies, visit lv.com