Timber transport contract renewed
A TIMBER transport service that delivers environmental and community benefits by taking timber lorries off public roads is to continue for another five years.
The TimberLINK service transports by ship as much as 90,000 tonnes of Argyll timber each year to processors in Ayrshire – and removes around 900,000 lorry miles from the public roads network.
Recently re-tendered, the contract to manage the service has been won by Associated British Ports (ABP).
Supported by the Strategic Timber Transport Fund, the new £ 800,000, five-year contract will run until April 2022.
Fergus Ewing, the Scottish Government’s Rural Affairs Secretary, said: ‘ TimberLINK is an excellent example of how support from the Strategic Timber Transport Fund is delivering environmental and community benefits to Scotland’s rural communities.
‘This is a vital service that helps both to unlock Argyll’s timber resources and to support economic development around the local ports.
‘It reduces fuel usage and cuts carbon emissions and, by reducing the number of timber lorry journeys on Argyll’s complex roads network, helps to cut congestion, reduce driver frustration and reduce accident risk. That is wholly to be welcomed.’
The level of forest cover in Argyll is twice the Scottish average and the area produces around 15 per cent of Scotland’s timber.
However, limited local processing capacity means that much of this has to be transported to markets outside Argyll.
Stuart Cresswell, ABP’s port manager, said: ‘ We are delighted to have won the contract to manage the TimberLINK service for the third time.
‘Having operated the service successfully for 15 years, we have offered continuity for the forest industry sector and look forward to continuing this success into the future.’
Fergus Ewing welcomed the contract agreement.