New funding aims to make rural communities safer

The Scottish Government has an announced a £2.85 million boost for the Strategic timber Transport Fund.
Jo O'Hara - Head of Forestry Commission ScotlandJo O'Hara - Head of Forestry Commission Scotland
Jo O'Hara - Head of Forestry Commission Scotland

The fund aims to help 
develop projects that offer real environmental and community benefit by taking timber lorries off public roads.

Scottish Evironment 
Minister Dr Aileen McLeod said: ‘‘One of the primary 
purposes of the Scottish Timber Transport Scheme is to reduce both the social disruption of rural communities and the environmental impact of timber transport.

“A great example of this is Timberlink, which by transporting timber by ship takes on average 1,000,000 lorry miles off the road every year and cuts 2000 tonnes of 
carbon emissions.

“That is a major achievement, which together with other funded schemes, helps to make our communities 
safer, quieter and cleaner.

“This is why it is important that the Timber Transport Scheme continues to support projects that help to make substantive improvements to the quality of life in our rural communities.”

Every year, around 600,000 lorry movements transport 
7.5 million tonnes of sustainable timber from Scotland’s forests to market.

The funding has been strongly welcomed by 
Scotland’s forestry industry.

Stuart Goodall, chief 
executive of Confor said: “It’s fantastic news that, at a time of budget tightening, the 
Scottish Government has 
allocated continued funding to support a key element of Scotland’s successful forestry and wood processing 

“This is a maturing 
industry, one that is 
becoming a bedrock of many rural communities.

‘‘As it matures we need to work closely with the Government to overcome challenges and to maximise the many benefits the industry can 
provide across Scotland.”

The fund supports projects that create in-forest roads, by–pass routes and additionally funds improvements to minor public roads.

Other nationally and 
regionally strategic projects include the potential to 
develop rail freight: one 
train can carry between 500-1000 tonnes of timber, the equivalent of 25-50 lorry loads.

It has also opened up 
opportunities for other
sectors, such as the 
energy transmission sector, to help create shared 
facilities that will further reduce the total impact of these important economic green activities on the