Scottish government fund eases pressures from timber lorries

19 August 2019

Increasing the levels of community, social and environmental benefit will be the main gain from £6.6m of Scottish government funding for projects that minimise the impact of timber lorries on Scotland’s rural road network.

Some of the main regions to benefit are Argyll (£1.78m), Perth and Kinross (£795,910), Highland (£527,600), and Scottish Borders (£710,705).

Projects in Dumfries and Galloway, Ayrshire, Moray, Angus, Clackmannanshire, Stirling and Aberdeenshire were also awarded funds.

The awards are drawn from the Strategic Timber Transport Fund (STTF), managed by Scottish Forestry. The fund co-finances projects that will improve mostly minor rural roads throughout Scotland or that promote modal shift, taking lorries off the road and transporting timber to market by sea. One project to be awarded funding this year is the construction of a landing craft ramp at Allt Daraich, Argyll.

In addition, £800,000 has been awarded to support the TimberLINK shipping service, which moves 80,000-100,000 tonnes of timber from forests in Argyll to markets in Ayrshire, taking nearly a million lorry miles off the public road.

Announcing the recent awards, cabinet secretary for the rural economy, Fergus Ewing said;

“Scotland’s £1bn forestry industry is going from strength to strength, producing millions of tonnes of high quality timber every year that will greatly benefit our rural economy.

“However, it is important that we do what we can to mitigate the impact on local communities of increased volumes of timber coming to market.

“That is the key purpose of the Timber Transport Fund and it is encouraging to know that local authorities and forest owners continue to bring forward project ideas that will facilitate the sustainable transport of timber and ultimately benefit local communities and the environment.”

As well as providing these wider community benefits required under the scheme, the funding also delivers benefits to the timber processing sector.

Fergus Ewing