Scotland’s timber transport infrastructure to benefit from £7 million of funding

Some £7 million of funding has been announced to improve Scotland’s timber transport infrastructure.

Work to upgrade rural roads, the creation of new forest haulage routes, passing places for communities and the promotion of moving timber by sea will share in the Scottish Government cash boost.

The projects are located in Aberdeenshire, Angus, the Scottish Borders, Dumfries & Galloway, Ayrshire, Stirling and the Highlands.

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Among the schemes are £900,000 towards TimberLink, which moves around 100,000 tonnes of timber by sea from Argyll to Ayrshire reducing the number of lorries using the A83 over the Rest and Be Thankful, and

Timber being loaded and shipped by boat on Ardcastle timber pier in West Argyll.
Timber being loaded and shipped by boat on Ardcastle timber pier in West Argyll.

£2.2m towards a range of road improvements in the Highlands where much of the timber traffic relies on minor roads.

Mairi McAllan, minister for environment, biodiversity and land reform, said: “A green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic is imperative and, as part of that, we are committed to supporting our forestry sector given its role in our transition to net zero. The sector also provides thousands of jobs and generates around £1 billion to our economy each year.

“By improving our timber transport network we can help the industry get its timber to market and ensure economic benefits continue. It will also reduce the effects that timber lorries can have on small local communities.”

The funding is through the Strategic Timber Transport Fund, which is part funded by Transport Scotland and managed by Scottish Forestry.

In the last five years, the Scottish Government has invested some £41m through the fund into more than 200 timber transport projects, helping 55 million tonnes of timber get to market.

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