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Call for timber transport projects to be submitted

By Alan Hendry

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Awards made under the Strategic Timber Transport Fund include improvements to minor roads.
Awards made under the Strategic Timber Transport Fund include improvements to minor roads.

Local authorities and landowners across Scotland are being reminded to submit their proposals for timber transport projects before next month's deadline.

Successful proposals will receive money from the Strategic Timber Transport Fund (STTF), which provides co-funding for projects that minimise the impact of timber lorries on Scotland’s rural road network.

The awards mostly include improvements to minor roads as well as promoting the transport of timber by sea.

Proposals need to be submitted to the Scottish Government agency Scottish Forestry by March 22.

Rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Over the past 14 years, nearly £60 million has helped to deliver 249 timber transport projects through the Strategic Timber Transport Fund.

“I am hopeful that we are able to continue the fund in next year’s budget and, subject to parliamentary approval, intend to allocate £7 million towards this.

“It is vital during our green recovery that we continue to ensure that the infrastructure is there to allow timber supplies to flow freely to market. I would urge landowners and local authorities to submit their proposals so that we can award grants as soon as possible.”

Much of the STTF goes towards work on minor or unclassified roads. This might include improving drainage systems, strengthening or upgrading surfaces, widening corners, adding traffic-calming measures or providing passing places – making it easier for residents and businesses 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 a 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 potential solutions.

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