A new £2.6 million contract to move thousands of tonnes of timber by sea from Argyll to South Ayrshire, instead of by road, will continue the SNP Government’s commitment to help decarbonise the forestry sector.
Scottish Forestry has signed a three year deal with Associated British Ports (ABP), the UK’s leading ports group, for the TimberLINK service to move the timber from a number of ports in Argyll.
Over the course of the next three years, around 225,000 tonnes of timber will be shipped across the Firth of Clyde from Argyll’s forests to wood processors based in Ayrshire, instead of using timber lorries. This will save around 2.2 million lorry miles, and nearly 4,000 tonnes of harmful CO2 emissions.
The move will also result in 9,750 fewer lorry trips via the A83 trunk road and a hugely significant reduction in traffic along North Ayrshire’s A78.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“Scotland’s forestry sector is a success story, providing a great range of benefits, generating over £1 billion to Scotland’s economy every year and supporting around 25,000 jobs.
“But however important the sector is, residents and tourists won’t miss the heavy timber lorries on North Ayrshire’s beautiful coastal roads, which will also result in less pressure on road surfaces.”
ABP has operated the service on behalf of Scottish Forestry since 2000. The funding is made through the Strategic Timber Transport Fund, which is run by Scottish Forestry and jointly financed by Transport Scotland.
In the last five years, around £33 million has been invested through the Fund into over 180 timber transport projects, helping over 47 million tonnes of timber get to market.
This year alone, Scottish Forestry awarded £355,000 of the SNP Government’s Scottish Timber Transport Fund to two projects on Arran, improving the island’s timber transport infrastructure and provide benefits to local communities.