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Scottish Government earmarks extra £1m to help improve road links in forestry areas; cash includes £77,000 to replace a bridge in the Highlands near Tomatin


By Philip Murray

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The cash will improve road links used by the forestry industry.
The cash will improve road links used by the forestry industry.

A RURAL Highland community's roads are among those set to benefit from an extra £1 million in funding to boost timber transport links.

The cash is earmarked for projects that improve timber transport links, helping the forestry sector get timber to market.

The extra funding comes from the Scottish Government’s Return to Work package and is on top of the £7 million announced for timber transport projects recently.

In the Highlands, some £77,000 will be spent replacing a bridge on a single track road in Glen Mazeran, south-west of Tomatin.

As well as the Highlands, the cash has been earmarked for communities in Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll & Bute, East Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire.

All the projects, under the Strategic Timber Transport Scheme, are co-financed and mostly include improvements to minor rural roads used by timber lorries.

Welcoming the additional funds, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “The forestry sector, like all businesses, is facing a very difficult time during COVID-19. This extra injection of funds is part of an overall effort to help accelerate economic recovery and help businesses through unprecedented times.

“By investing in the infrastructure that allows timber supplies to get to market, we are creating better opportunities for the sector to restart and work towards a sustainable future.”

The timber transport funding can help the infrastructure by strengthening minor rural roads, widening corners or providing passing places on narrow roads. The benefits will also reach local communities as the works will make it easier for local people to share the rural road network with timber lorries.

The funding awards are to:

• Aberdeenshire Council: £187, 596

Resurfacing, edge strengthening, and making three passing places on the C43M Glacks and checking and repointing the A97 Boultenstone Bridge.

• Angus Council: £80,000

Creating five new passing places and resurface/strengthen 1.6km of the U390 road from Backwater to Glenhead.

• Argyll & Bute Council: £170, 620

Work on the A816 Lorn, extending the widened Kilmore stretch to Feochan Bridge and extending widening at Kilninver junction. Also widening works from Oude Bridge to Glengallan and resurfacing alongside improvements to Reara Forest exit.

• East Ayrshire Council: £64,680

Resurface 1km of the B764 Eaglesham Moor road.

• Highland Council: £77,000

Replace bridge on single track C1121 Glenmazeran road.

• South Lanarkshire Council: £336,000

Resurfacing the sections of the B743 Muirkirk road.

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