New funding will provide better roads

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More than £7 million of Scottish Government funding is set to increase the levels of community, social and environmental benefit gained from projects that minimise the impact of timber lorries on Scotland’s rural road network.

The 2018 Strategic Timber Transport Fund (STTF), managed by Forestry Commission Scotland, has awarded over £7 million of co-finance to projects which will improve a number of largely minor rural roads throughout Scotland or take lorries off the road with the timber being transported to market by sea.

Roland Stiven of the Confederation of Forest Industries said: “The scheme is supporting work to improve busy rural A roads, vital for shifting timber from Galloway to the timber processing facilities in Ayrshire.”

Announcing the funding as part of the agreed Scottish budget for 2018-19, Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment, Mairi Gougeon, said: “Scotland’s burgeoning £1 billion forestry industry produces 7 million tonnes of timber every year – a quantity of high quality raw material that is set to increase in coming years.

“This timber will greatly benefit our rural economy but we must also do all we can to mitigate the impact on local communities of increased timber traffic on minor rural roads.”