The freight quality partnership brings together representatives of the council, the Forestry Commission, the timber and forestry industries and haulage interests.
You can view the timber map via the button below.
Timber extraction in North Yorkshire
Timber felling and transport (timber extraction) is becoming a significant part of the rural economy of North Yorkshire. There are over 40,000 hectares of woodland in North Yorkshire, with in the region of 200,000 tonnes of timber being extracted annually across the county. The timber industry supports in the region of 2,000 jobs in the county.
North Yorkshire Timber Freight Quality Partnership
The majority of forests are located away from the main A and B class roads and are accessed via smaller rural roads. Most timber extraction passes without incident. However in some instances there is the potential for some disruption to local communities and the highway network.
In order to try and address these issues, the North Yorkshire Timber Freight Quality Partnership was established. This group is made up of a range of key stakeholders including representation from the timber industry, North Yorkshire Council and both national parks.
The aim of the partnership is to support the contribution of the forestry and timber industries to the North Yorkshire economy by ensuring that timber industries can access the timber resource whilst seeking to minimise the impact on the public road network, on local communities and on the environment. You can find more information on the North Yorkshire Timber Freight Quality Partnership here.
North Yorkshire timber routes map
The freight quality partnership has developed a North Yorkshire timber routes map. This map identifies forest exit points where timber vehicles will enter the county road network, the estimated number of round trips per day from each forest exit point and the route the timber will take from the forest to the A and B road network.
How many timber vehicles will be travelling along routes near me?
The routes map contains data on the predicted average number of round trips per day (lorries) from each forest exit point. Each round trip involves an empty vehicle arriving at forest and a full vehicle leaving the forest.
By clicking on a tree icon on the routes map, information related to that forest exit point is displayed. This includes an indication of the number of round trips from this exit point when extraction is planned to happen. This is categorised as one of the four following options:
- No extraction planned
- Light - zero to two round trips per day
- Medium - two to five round trips per day
- Heavy - more than five round trips per day
These figures relate to movements when extraction is happening. It does not mean that there will be vehicle movements every day of the year. When extraction occurs it is typically on weekdays. This is a predicted average figure and is subject to some variation. It should be noted that only a small minority of forests are categorised as heavy flows.
Once the timber leaves an exit point where does it go?
Timber extraction routes have been developed by the freight quality partnership working closely with local highways area offices. Routes have been categorised and are displayed on the map as per the following:
- Agreed routes (red) can be used at any time for timber haulage.
- Consultation routes (amber) are recognised as being key to timber extraction but are not up to agreed route standard. Consultation with the local highways area office should take place before extraction. It is expected that this should take the form of prior notification in order to enable a view to be taken on any local considerations or highway conditions that may need to be addressed before operations begin. It may be necessary to agree appropriate conditions of use to minimise likely impacts. In the vast majority of cases it is expected that no major issues would arise and that haulage operations would proceed.
- Severely restricted routes (purple) are recognised as being particularly sensitive. In these cases a route action plan may be required. The highways area office, in conjunction with the timber operator, will review and inspect the route to identify all issues that may have an impact on the highway or the local communities.
- Excluded routes (blue) should not be used for timber transport in their present condition. These routes are either formally restricted, or are close to being formally restricted, to protect the road from damaging loads.
Many of the routes on the map are either currently being used or have been used in the past. The map helps to ensure that all parties have as much knowledge as possible about likely flows and what routes will be used over the next few years.
How accurate is the map?
Due to variations in the timber market, production plans and road conditions the map can never be a fully accurate plan of what timber will be extracted. It does however provide a very useful guide to inform local communities about what timber extraction operations will be taking place in their area and also provides the industry with information on which routes they can use.