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Timber route targeted for £2.85m upgrade

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By Abbey Morton
Lockerbie and Lochmaben

A MULTI-MILLION pound boost for timber transportation routes has been welcomed.

And a bid is being put forward to the Scottish Timber Transport Scheme (STTS) to gain a slice of the cash to upgrade the U300a Laverhay Farm to C102a to Boreland.

Last week Environment Minister Dr Aileen McLeod announced a £2.85 million boost for the STTS Fund for 2016/17 to help develop projects that take timber lorries off public roads.

And in a report for councillors, the local authority’s head of infrastructure and transport Steven Herriott explained an upgrade to the Annandale road would allow the transportation of 270,000 round wood timber to production facilities.

He said: “This proposed bid will be in conjunction with the timber industry to include an off road forest to public road link approx. 4 kms long.

“The mature timber in the six blocks that make up the Laverhay Forest complex are now overdue for extraction. The estimated volume of timber, which is currently landlocked, is in excess of 270,000 tonnes.”

Planned upgrade works include passing places for HGVs, roadside drainage and strengthening of the existing carriageway.

It is anticipated the work will be phased over two or three years, with the bid for 2016/17 comprising of passing places and drainage.

Welcoming the investment opportunity, Annandale North councillor Stephen Thompson said: “All work that helps improve our rural roads to be able to sustain agriculture and forestry business has to be welcomed as it helps make our industries more sustainable and makes the roads safer for residents and other road users.

“The council will be looking at other possibilities for bids to the fund in future.”

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