Applecross timber extraction due to begin this week

The first lorry-load of timber was due to leave the Applecross peninsula this week as the hauliers tasked with taking the 11,000 tonnes of logs to Kishorn sought to reassure locals about damage to the single-track north road.

Ferguson Transport say that a central tyre inflation system will allow the driver to change the tyre pressure to prevent damage to the edge of the road.

The Gateway Timber project near Keppoch is owned by the Applecross Trust. Neil Stoddart, the regional harvesting manager of their contractors, Scottish Woodlands Ltd, said: “In my experience, use of this type of truck will lead to a tangible reduction of the impact on both the forestry and council roads — which of course will be a significant benefit when hauling timber from Applecross.”

Timber extraction was due to start on Monday and will consist of two return trips per day, Monday to Friday. Applecross Trust say the first lorry will leave Kishorn around 7.30am, arriving at Gateway around 9.30am. It will then leave for the return trip at 10am, arriving midday, heading back to Gateway at around 2.30pm.

According to the management plan drawn up by the trust, Highland Council, SWL and Ferguson Transport, the extraction is to be limited to 500 tonnes per week. A total of 11,000 tonnes is to be taken to Kishorn in this phase of forestry operations. The plan also states that the lorries must keep to a 30mph speed limit.

The council and the trust are to contribute £100,000 between them to road repairs, while the Scottish Timber Transport Fund has given the same amount. The work is to be done between now and February.

The management plan also states that a road condition survey is to be conducted by the council before haulage begins, although the council could not confirm this week that such a survey had been undertaken.