TimberLINK contract renewed

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A timber transport service that delivers environmental and community benefits by taking timber lorries off public roads is to continue for another five years.

The TimberLINK service transports by ship as much as 90,000 tonnes of Argyll timber each year to processors in Ayrshire – and removes around 900,000 lorry miles off the public road network.

Recently re-tendered, the contract to manage the service has been won by Associated British Ports (ABP). Supported by the Strategic Timber Transport Fund, the new £800,000, five year contract will run until April 2022.

Fergus Ewing, Rural Affairs Secretary, said;

“TimberLINK is an excellent example of how support from the Strategic Timber Transport Fund is delivering environmental and community benefits to Scotland’s rural communities.

“This is a vital service that helps both to unlock Argyll’s timber resources and to support economic development around the local ports.

“It reduces fuel usage and cuts carbon emissions and, by reducing the number of timber lorry journeys on Argyll’s complex road network, helps to cut congestion, reduce driver frustration and reduce accident risk.

“That is wholly to be welcomed.”

The level of forest cover in Argyll is twice the Scottish average and the area produces around 15% of Scotland’s timber. However, limited local processing capacity means that much of this has to be transported to markets outside Argyll.

Stuart Cresswell, ABP Port Manager, said:

”We are delighted to have won the contract to manage the TimberLINK service for the third time. Having operated the service successfully for fifteen years, we have offered continuity for the forest industry sector and look forward to continuing this success into the future.”

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. Forest Enterprise Scotland is an agency of the Forestry Commission and manages the National Forest Estate on behalf of Scottish Ministers.
  3. Tha Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba na phàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh na h-Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba. Tha e an urra ri riaghladh agus cumail maoineachadh is comhairle ri coilltearachd ann an Alba. Tha Iomairt Choilltean na h-Alba na fo-bhuidheann aig Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba a tha a’ ruith Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta.
  4. ABP has a unique network of 21 ports that handle over 92 million tonnes of cargo, including 30 million tonnes for export per year. It supports 84,000 jobs around Britain and contribute £5.6 billion to the UK economy every year.
  5. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6507 / 07785 527590 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.