New timber route agreed for county

Graham Gill, forest manager for the Forestry Commission's forests in the north of England, John Paterson, director of Egger Forestry Ltd and chair of the North East Timber Transport Group, and Barry Rowland, executive director of local services at Northumberland County Council.
Graham Gill, forest manager for the Forestry Commission's forests in the north of England, John Paterson, director of Egger Forestry Ltd and chair of the North East Timber Transport Group, and Barry Rowland, executive director of local services at Northumberland County Council.

A new map of routes for timber lorries to take through Northumberland has been officially launched this week.

The new ‘Agreed Routes Map’ (ARM) was signed this week by John Paterson, chairman of the North East Timber Transport Group and director of Egger Forestry Ltd, and Barry Rowland, Northumberland County Council’s executive director of local services.

The group has worked with the county council and other local authorities to consider the transport infrastructure and plans to facilitate timber transport and reduce the impact of timber vehicles currently using rural roads and communities.

The ARM will steer timber wagons along the most suitable roads, avoiding wear to other carriageways as well as conflict with other road users in traffic sensitive areas.

Coun Ian Swithenbank, policy board member for streetcare and environment at Northumberland County Council, said: “In Northumberland and the north east the forestry industry is very important to the rural economy, and we are working in partnership with the industry including other key players such as the Forestry Commission to look at issues around how timber is transported on rural roads.

“The launch of these official maps is very good news.

“We hope that they will be very helpful to the timber trade and are also designed to take into account the council’s highways maintenance programme – allowing us to target resources appropriately across our road network.”

The transport of timber to market is an important part of a plan for the growth and development of the forestry sector in northern England, which has recently been launched.

The agreed routes map and further information are available at www.northumberland.gov.uk