Projects to help minimise the impacts of timber lorries on Scotland’s rural road network are set to share in a £7 million boost.

The cash injection agreed by the Scottish Parliament will go towards improving minor roads and promoting the transport of timber by sea.

In the last five years, the Scottish Government has invested around £34 million in 187 projects across Scotland, helping 50 million tonnes of timber to get to market.

This investment, under the Strategic Timber Transport Fund, has also saved five million timber lorry miles through transporting timber by sea, reducing the need for heavy goods vehicles to use the same small roads as rural communities.

Much of the STTF goes towards work on minor B, C class and Unclassified roads. This could include improving drainage systems, strengthening or upgrading surfaces, widening corners, adding traffic calming measures or by providing passing places – making it easier for local residents and business to share the rural road network.

In addition, the TimberLINK Service has been supported by the fund. This enables timber to be moved by sea on the west coast of Scotland, removing nearly one million lorry miles a year from Scottish roads.

The funding also supports the work of one national and five regionally based Project Officers who engage with Local Authorities and forestry stakeholders to identify any local timber transport issues and seek to identify potential solutions.