Fears are voiced over logging lorries plan

Residents of Carty Port near Newton Stewart could have HGV lorries going past every 10 minutes during the day when the Forestry Commission starts logging operations at the Moss of Cree.

The Forestry Commission plans to fell 11,300 cubic metres of woodland, around 9000 tonnes of timber and take it out along the single-track road onto the A714.

The Carty Port Community Company turned up in force to the monthly meeting of the Cree Valley Community Council this week to make clear its concerns about the timber plans. It says the C15W road is unsuitable for an increase in traffic and the addition of timber lorries could lead to approximately 46 HGV journeys in an eight-hour day.

Resident Ian Morton was concerned about accidents with the combination of the increased traffic and drivers speeding up once they got to know the road, a designated cycle route. He asked if a speed restriction could be put in place but strict national guidelines forbade this.

Because the road is built on a moss and clay foundation, homes vibrate when heavy vehicles go past and increased traffic may cause structural damage.

Residents asked if the Forestry Commission and the council’s roads authority, DGFirst, could look at taking the logs out onto the A714 at Liggat Cheek, near Baltersan Farm, via the A701 which, in their opinion, was a more suitable option as it offered drivers clearer visibility onto the main road than at Lamachan View.

Mid Galloway Councillor Alistair Geddes suggested parties should be looking at this situation with a “can do” attitude. If speed restriction signs were not possible, he suggested advisory signs could be put in place to alert drivers to potential dangers. Speed limits could also be written into the drivers’ contracts.

Representatives of the Forestry Commission, the council, residents and CVCC will meet on Monday afternoon, initially at the McMillan Hall, before going on site.