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The cost of repairing and maintaining the roads in our forests is increasing and can reach upwards of £6 million a year.

The biggest contribution to reducing repair and maintenance costs will come from improving technologies available to operators of timber haulage fleets across Scotland as well as improved civil engineering solutions and harvesting management where it impacts our roads.

Our aim is to ensure that the overall costs of maintenance and haulage are optimised and that safety is never compromised.

Timber lorry

Our network of low ground pressure-only roads

Low ground pressure vehicles and those fitted with tyre pressure control systems cause less damage to roads and provide an opportunity to significantly reduce maintenance costs. You can learn more about this in the Timber Transport Forum's booklet, Tread Softly (PDF 2.6MB).

A number of roads in Scotland's national forests have been classified for use by low ground pressure haulage vehicles only. The following maps show the locations of these:

When will restrictions on vehicles come into force?

Following engagement with stakeholders the deadline was extended to April 2021 from the initial deadline of April 2018.

The date of 2025 will remain where Forestry and Land Scotland will only accept configurations from the "weak category" on the restricted network. We also plan to review our road networks during this period to ensure they are accurately attributed to a restricted category classification.

After the implementation date it will become a condition of future contracts to use low ground pressure vehicles when transporting timber over the low ground pressure network.

Overwhelming evidence confirms that low ground pressure systems minimise road damage and as a result the timescale has only been extended and we will look at other opportunities to minimise road damage further in consultation with our stakeholders.

Please be assured that this is not a mechanism to downgrade our network standard but is a means to allow us to maintain the network more effectively.

How we developed the network

The low ground pressure network has been developed following surveying, desktop research and data analysis.

We reviewed our forest road network to determine the routes and areas that are the weakest and would provide the greatest potential cost saving. This is based on a number of factors including the availability of local quality stone for road maintenance, average maintenance costs, strength of public roads that service the area and areas with very long in-forest haulage routes.

Get in touch

If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

Mick Bottomley
Head of Sales & Marketing
Forestry and Land Scotland
Silvan House
231 Corstorphine Road
Edinburgh
EH12 7AT
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 0131 370 5575
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