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Landowners and local authorities across Scotland are being reminded to submit their proposals for timber transport projects to Scottish Forestry before the March 22 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 and for promoting the transport of timber by sea.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: ‘Over the past 14 years, nearly £60 million has helped to deliver 249 timber transport projects through the STTF.
‘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 B, C class and unclassified roads. This might include improving drainage systems, strengthening or upgrading surfaces, widening corners, adding traffic calming measures or by 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 one 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 timber transport issues and seek to identify potential solutions.
Local authorities and landowners looking for more information can contact Roland Stiven, Scottish forestry business support advisor, by email: Roland.Stiven@forestry.gov.scot.