THE Scottish Government has granted over £6 million of funding to minimise the impact of timber lorries on Scotland’s rural road network.

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

The awards are drawn from the Strategic Timber Transport Fund (STTF), managed by Scottish Forestry. The fund co-finances projects that 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 80–100,000 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 MSP said: “Scotland’s £1 billion 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.”