£5m boost for Timber Transport Funding

timber lorry1

The scheme to minimise the impacts on communities and on the environment caused by timber lorries on the rural road network is to benefit from a £5m boost from the Scottish Government.

The 2017 Strategic Timber Transport Fund (STTF), managed by Forestry Commission Scotland, will now offer £7.85 million of co-funding support to projects that strengthen public roads and reduce disruption by timber haulage.

This award of additional money for 2017/18 means that the scheme can deliver even more community, social and environmental benefits.

The STTF also supports projects that move timber by sea or rail, as well as those diverting timber lorries onto in-forest haul routes.

Announcing the funding as part of the agreed Scottish budget for 2017-18, Rural Affairs Secretary, Fergus Ewing, said;

“Forestry is a burgeoning, £1billion rural industry that is producing around 7 million tonnes of timber a year and is expected to increase this to 10 million over the next decade.  

“This will generate significant benefits for our rural economy but we must also do all what we can to mitigate the impact on local communities. This fund seeks to address the impact of increased timber traffic for minor rural roads, many of which need to be improved to deal with heavy vehicles.

“The Timber Transport Fund is there to support projects that do just that - and this additional funding from the Scottish Government is a welcome and significant investment.

“We look forward to local authorities and forest owners coming forward with project ideas that will facilitate the sustainable transport of timber and ultimately benefit local communities and the environment.”

All projects are required to meet the Strategic Timber Transport Scheme (STTS) funding criteria. Projects involving work on in-forest roads and on normal A- class roads can apply for support at up to 50% of costs.

For 2017/18, physical works on key, minor public roads may be eligible for up to 70% support funding, a rate that will also apply to physical works relating to the movement of timber by rail or sea.

A ‘Preparatory Project Grant’ is also being piloted to facilitate good project proposals for large scale, complex projects, including those seeking to enable modal shift of timber haulage onto rail or sea.

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 Forestry Commission Scotland and manages the National Forest Estate on behalf of Scottish Ministers.
  3. As well as supporting the STTS, the Fund also provides support for the TimberLINK shipping service which moves up to 100,000 tonnes of timber from Argyll to Ayrshire by boat each year.
  4. Since its launch in 2005 the Fund has supported 136 projects that have reduced the impact of timber lorries taking 29m tonnes of timber to market. These have included work on in-forest roads, strengthening and improving minor roads and projects to ship timber by sea and rail, rather than road.
  5. The Strategic Timber Transport Fund (STTF) supports the TimberLINK shipping service and the Strategic Timber Transport Scheme (STTS). Projects seeking support for road works or to enable modal shift onto rail or sea apply through the STTS.  As a first step, projects must have the support of the relevant Regional Timber Transport Group (RTTG).
  6. RTTG’s cover the main timber producing areas of Highland, Grampian, Stirling & Tayside, Argyll, Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire, Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.