Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing, announced a £5 million funding boost for projects that minimise the impacts on communities and the environment caused by timber lorries on the rural road network.
This award of additional money to the 2018/19 Strategic Timber Transport Fund (STTF), managed by Forestry Commission Scotland, means that a total of £7.85 million of co-funding support is available to sustain the momentum built up last year and deliver even more community, social and environmental benefits.
Speaking at the Timber Transport Forum Conference being held at the Drumossie Hotel, near Inverness, Mr Ewing said: “Last year, an additional Scottish Government contribution of £5 million to the Timber Transport Fund resulted in 50 projects and £11 million of improvements to the Scottish rural road network.
“This has been of significant benefit to the forestry sector, our rural economy, rural communities and the environment and for this reason the Scottish Government is this year contributing a further £5million to the Timber Transport Fund.
“Forestry’s success story is set to continue in the years ahead, and with greater volumes of timber being brought to market, this welcome investment will further mitigate the impact of increased timber traffic for minor rural roads, on local communities and on the environment.”
As well as supporting projects that strengthen public roads and reduce disruption by timber haulage, the STTF also supports projects that move timber by sea or rail, as well as those diverting timber lorries onto in-forest haul routes.
All projects are required to meet the Strategic Timber Transport Scheme (STTS) funding criteria. Projects involving work on in-forest roads and on normal A- class roads can apply for support at up to 50 per cent of costs.