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Investment boost for timber roads

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FUNDING of £260,841 has been awarded to projects in Dumfries and Galloway which will reduce the impacts of timber lorries on rural roads.

The money is coming from the Scottish Government’s Strategic Timber Transport Fund and is aimed at improving the infrastructure of mostly minor roads, including the B709 near Eskdalemuir, which will get £116,659; and three sections of the B6357 at Canonbie, which have been allocated £44,499. A share has also been earmarked for an in–forest road and junction onto the A762 near Mossdale. And there is cash for a timber transport project officer, who gives advice across the south of Scotland.

Announcing the funding, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy, Fergus Ewing, pictured above, said: “Scotland’s £1 billion forestry industry is going from strength to strength, producing millions of tonnes of high quality timber every year that will greatly benefit our rural economy. However, it is important that we do what we can to mitigate the impact on local communities of increased volumes of timber coming to market.

“That is the key purpose of the Timber Transport Fund and it is encouraging to know that local authorities and forest owners continue to bring forward project ideas that will facilitate the sustainable transport of timber and ultimately benefit local communities and the environment.”

David Sulman of Confor, the Confederation of Forest Industries, and Chair of the STTS Assessment Panel, added: “This funding is greatly needed to improve our rural roads to suit modern land uses such as forestry. Work on minor roads – whether it is strengthening the road surface, widening corners, adding traffic calming measures or providing passing places – makes it easier for local residents and business to share the rural road network.”

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