Timber transport

A guide to timber transport in Northumberland, including agreed routes map and restricted roads.

This section provides information about the transportation of timber in Northumberland.

Northumberland is home to a large proportion of forestry in Northern England, including Kielder, the largest man-made forest in Northern Europe.

Kielder and other key strategic forests are the driving force behind a significant processing sector in the region.

Northumberland County Council is a strong partner, together with representatives of the forest industry and forestry commission in the North East timber transport group.

The forum was created to address timber transport issues across the region. Together they produced a map of the routes timber lorries take throughout Northumberland.

You can also click here for the national website of the timber transport forum, which provides information/maps as well as links to regional forum groups like ours.
The agreed routes map will steer timber wagons along the most suitable roads, avoiding wear to other carriageways, as well as conflict with other road users and local communities.

The launch of the agreed routes maps follows on from the launch of ‘roots to prosperity,’ a strategic action plan which proposed an investment of roughly £23 million to create jobs and deliver low carbon growth and sustainable economic development across rural and urban communities in the North East.

The agreed route maps identify the following categories of roads based on their capacity to sustain timber haulage.

Agreed routes:
  • routes which can be used for timber haulage without restriction, other than as regulated by the Road Traffic Act 1998
  • ‘A’ roads classified as agreed routes, unless covered by other TTG classifications
Consultation routes
These are routes which are recognised as being key to timber extraction, but which are not up to agreed route standard. Consultation with the local authority is required and it may be necessary to agree limits of timing, allowable tonnage etc. before the route can be used. B roads and minor roads are classified as consultation routes unless covered by other TTG classifications.

Severely restricted routes
These are outes which should not normally be used for timber transport in their present condition. These routes are close to being excluded routes and consultation with the local authority is required to achieve an agreed management regime to avoid land locking of timber.

Excluded routes
These are routes which should not be used for timber transport in their present condition. These are either formally restricted or close to being formally restricted. This is in order to protect the network from damaging loads. Consultation with the local authority is required to explore alternatives.