Timber transport projects which help minimise the impacts of timber lorries on Scotland’s rural road network are set to share in a £7 million boost.
The cash injection, which has recently been agreed by the Scottish Parliament, will go towards improving minor roads and promoting the transport of timber by sea.
In the last five years, the Scottish Government has invested around £34 million in 187 projects across Scotland, helping 50 million tonnes of timber to get to market.
This investment, under the Strategic Timber Transport Fund, has also saved five million timber lorry miles through transporting timber by sea, reducing the need for heavy goods vehicles to use the same small roads as rural communities.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:
“Scotland’s £1 billion forestry sector is a success story which is growing from strength to strength.
“Getting timber to market is a vital part of the forestry processing chain and very important in our green recovery. The movement of this timber can have knock on affects to local communities and the funding aims to reduce this where possible.
“Local authorities and landowners have been working up their timber transport proposals and will be submitting them to Scottish Forestry next week. The demand for funding is very healthy and we aim to announce the successful timber transport projects in the summer.”
Much of the STTF goes towards work on minor B, C class and Unclassified roads. This could include improving drainage systems, strengthening or upgrading surfaces, widening corners, adding traffic calming measures or by providing passing places – making it easier for local residents and business to share the rural road network.
In addition, the TimberLINK Service has been supported by the fund. This enables timber to be moved by sea on the west coast of Scotland, removing nearly one million lorry miles a year from Scottish roads.
The funding also supports the work of one national and five regionally based Project Officers who engage with Local Authorities and forestry stakeholders to identify any local timber transport issues and seek to identify potential solutions.
Local authorities and landowners wishing for more details can contact Roland Stiven, Scottish Forestry Business Support Advisor here.
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