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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. However, new technologies available to timber haulage fleets are helping to reduce this significant expense.

In 2016 we took the decision to restrict access to our more fragile forest roads to timber haulage vehicles that utilise low ground pressure technologies from April 2018. Following engagement with stakeholders the deadline was extended and restrictions will now come into force in April 2021.

Timber haulage lorry loading logs onto its bed in open surroundings on sunny day

Our network of low ground pressure-only roads

The following map shows the roads in Scotland's national forests that have been classified for use by low ground pressure haulage vehicles only:

Open a larger version of this map >>

These roads were classified based on a number of factors including the availability of local, quality stone for road maintenance; average maintenance costs; the strength of the surrounding public roads; and areas with very long in-forest haulage routes.

What are the restrictions?

By April 2021, all timber haulage vehicles travelling on the restricted network should have low ground pressure technologies installed. Following a short transition period, our staff may seek evidence of this from July 2021.

By April 2025, all haulage vehicles travelling on the restricted network must be configured to the Timber Transport Forum's recommendations for "weak" category forest roads:

Wagon and drag or artic with:

  • Wider single on steer axle
  • Double drive axles with Tyre Pressure Control
  • Twin wheels/maxis with Tyre Pressure Control on trailer

Tread Softly: Lower impact vehicles for timber haulage (PDF 2.5MB)

After each implementation date it will become a condition of future contracts to use appropriate vehicles when transporting timber over the restricted network.

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