The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Haulage firm gets £1m boost to move timber freight by sea

- BY SUE RESTAN

A Highland haulage company has been awarded almost £1million for a new water freight service that will reduce the number of timber trucks on Scotland’s trunk roads.

Transport Minister Keith Brown has announced £959,773 for Boyd Brothers Haulage Ltd, of Corpach, Fort William, to transport timber by sea.

The funding is aimed at removing more than 6,300 HGV journeys from key routes, such as the A82 Inverness to Glasgow road and M74 between Glasgow and Gretna, during its first three years of operation.

The new service will transport sawn-timber produced at BSW’s recentlyop­ened sawmill at Corpach to Tilbury in the south-east of England.

Companies often consider transporti­ng goods by road to be the most cost-effective method, however the Waterborne Freight Grant will enable them to be transporte­d bywater, without the companies being out of pocket.

Mr Brown said: “This new water freight service will help to reduce the number of HGVs travelling on one of our most iconic, scenic tourist routes.

“It will also contribute to the sustainabi­lity of Scotland by reducing congestion, carbon emissions, noise, accidents and damage to our road network.

“We realise that moving freight by rail or water isn’t always the most cost-effective option and this freight grant funding can bridge that gap.”

BSW Timber chief executive, Tony Hackney, said the company had invested £43million into its Fort William mill over the past five years, doubling its production output and creating one the largest and most advanced sawmill sites operating anywhere in the UK.

He said: “This grant allows us to develop a sustainabl­e logistics solution into the south- east of England to support more investment for For t William.

“It will help us feed the demand for home-grown Scottish timber in a UK market traditiona­lly dominated by imports, as well as significan­tly improving service to our customers across the country.”

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Keith Brown

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