£1.2 million for timber roads

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Argyll and Bute has been awarded £1.2 million to help upgrade roads regularly used for timber extraction.

Argyll and Bute is home to nine forests covering thousands of hectares and the council applied to Scotland’s Strategic Timber Transport Scheme.

The fund was established in 2005 and helps towards infrastructure improvements to minimise the ‘social and environmental’ impacts of timber transport.

Every year across Scotland, millions of tonnes of timber are transported across the country but it often relies on roads not designed for heavy traffic.

It amounts to around 600,000 lorry movements transporting in the region of 7.5 million tonnes of sustainable timber from Scotland’s forests to market, according to figures from 2017.

The council said the funding complements significant long-term capital investment made over the last few years in roads surfacing and reconstruction.

Councillor Robin Currie, policy lead for housing, roads and infrastructure services, said: ‘The additional funding from STTS is a welcome addition to our investment in roads capital works which in recent years has made an overall improvement in our network.’

In 2019-20 a total of £7 million was made available to support the TimberLINK shipping scheme and relevant projects through the STTS.