MORE money is coming to Dumfries and Galloway to improve roads used by timber wagons.
Scottish Forestry has awarded over £454,000 to projects in the region which will improve timber transport infrastructure.
Key to the improvements is that the work will also ensure that local people using these roads will be able to pass the timber wagons more safely.
The projects include:
n £115,594 to create 17 passing places on the C102a single tracked road where timber lorries often have problems passing each other, and other road users. This road is the preferred route to timber processors at Stevens Croft, Lockerbie and is forecast to carry 258,700 tonnes of timber over the coming decade.
n £222,012 to improve 150m of the A711 through Dalbeattie. The road carries timber traffic to the nearby sawmill and is estimated to carry 1,800,000 tonnes of timber over the next decade.
n £116,587 towards an alternative access point at Barbeth which will avoid the existing timber haulage route through New Abbey. The project involves constructing 400m of new access roads, and improvements to a further 1350m of track. This project will provide access to 33,000 tonnes of timber over the next decade.
The funding goes to Dumfries and Galloway Council for the road improvements and to a private sector project to avoid timber lorries going through the village of New Abbey.
Announcing it, Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “I am pleased that the Scottish Government and local authorities are continuing to provide support to help the forestry industry decarbonise, whilst also improving local transport networks. That is good for our forestry industry, strengthening its ability to get timber to market.
“But it is also good news for rural communities which are regularly affected by timber wagons using their same routes that local people use too. With the road improvement works planned, communities will be less affected.”
The cash boost is being made through the Strategic Timber Transport Fund, which is managed by Scottish Forestry, with funding support from Transport Scotland.
A total of £4 million is being awarded to a range of projects across Scotland.