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Policy aims to limit transport of timber by road

A Scottish haulage firm has just been given nearly £1 million by the Government to invest in a scheme to transport wood by sea.

Keith Brown, who is the minister for transport, has explained the rationale behind the move. He has said that transporting timber using HGVs in the Highlands is not always helpful to the tourist industry. Although moving goods by water is not typically the cheapest option, it can relieve pressure on roads.

The Waterborne Freight Grant should be of assistance to the UK timber industry. It has been suggested by Tony Hackney, a chief exec at BSW Timber, that the government money could mean that the UK becomes less reliant on imports than it has been in the past.

If more timber is grown within UK territory, then this development could have cost implications for wood flooring in North Wales . Mr Hackney is of the opinion that the new policy should facilitate more private investment in the Fort William area.

During the last few years, over £40 million has been spent on enhancing a mill in Fort William, and the facility has become one of the biggest sawmill sites in Scotland. Its level of production has doubled in that time, according to Mr Hackney.

Roads such as the M74 and the A82 should not have so many trucks on them in the future, and progress on this front could be made within the next three years.

Mr Brown has added:

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

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