Cumbrian timber road map unveiled at national conference

New plans for how timber should be transported around Cumbria are being unveiled at a national conference for the timber industry being held at Rheged near Penrith this week.

Cumbria County Council has joined forces with the county’s forestry industry to help safeguard the multi-million pound investment made by Cumbrian forestry and timber processing businesses.

The Cumbria Timber Transport Group (CTTG) was formed in 2010 as a partnership between the council, the Forestry Commission and representatives from Cumbrian forest industries. One of the goals of the group was to agree a strategic roads network in the county to enable timber to be transported from forest to processing plant efficiently and safely.

This work has resulted in an ‘Agreed Routes Map’ which aims to direct timber traffic onto voluntary agreed routes, balancing the needs of industry with those of rural communities.

The map will be one of the main subjects of discussion at the national Timber Transport Conference which this year is being hosted by Cumbria. The national conference attracts the forestry sector, timber hauliers and local authorities who gather to discuss the issues arising from having to move 44-tonne lorries along the minor road network and how to manage any disturbance or disruption that may arise and minimise the potential for road damage.

The conference is being held at Rheged on 15 March from 9.30am to 4.15pm. Delegates will be able to learn from areas that have already implemented an Agreed Routes Map (including much of Scotland) as well as areas that are currently in the process of implementing them (including North Yorkshire and Northumberland). Other subjects for discussion include vehicle tracking systems, driver training, and the launch of the revised Road Haulage of Round Timber Code of Practice.

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The Agreed Routes Map for Cumbria is now available at

Cllr Tim Knowles, Cumbria County Council's Cabinet member responsible for transport, said:
“By drawing up an Agreed Routes Map, the council can ensure that timber traffic is kept on the most suitable roads, this helps us to manage our budget and avoids unnecessary road damage.”

Richard Scott, Logistics Manager of Carlisle-based BSW Timber and Chairman of the Cumbria Timber Transport Group, said:
“I am delighted with the progress we have made in Cumbria. The partnership between the public and private sectors will help to strengthen the county’s forest industry. Cumbrian businesses like AW Jenkinson, BSW Timber and Iggesund Paperboard manufacture goods that compete with the best in the world, including construction timber, paper, horticultural products and bio-fuel.”