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Essential Ash Dieback Tree Felling for North West Roads

North West trunk road network
13th of March 2023, 7:00pm to 28th of March 2023, 6:00am

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BEAR Scotland will be helping ensure the resilience of Scotland’s native species by felling trees affected by Ash Dieback throughout the North West trunk road network. Works are set to get underway on Monday 13 March 2023.

Ash Dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) is a disease which will lead to the decline and death of 50 to 75% of ash trees in Scotland over the next two decades. The disease can spread, with evidence from Europe suggesting it has the potential to infect more than 75 million ash trees (over 64 million saplings and seedlings and some 10.7 million mature trees) across the country.

BEAR Scotland has undertaken an assessment of the trunk road boundary in line with guidance from the Tree Council and Scottish Forestry. As a result, it has been decided that tree felling must be undertaken to ensure the safety of road users and the trunk road network.

The works will see numerous affected trees being felled over the coming weeks along the A82 (Luss to Ardlui), A83 (Clachan to Lochgair), A84 (Drumvaich to Lochearnhead), A85 (Perth to Crianlarich) and A887 (Invermoriston). Commencing 13 March, tree felling will take place between 7pm and 6am each night and is due to be completed by 6am on Tuesday 28 March, weather dependant.

To ensure the safety of road workers and motorists, the works will be undertaken with lane closures and temporary traffic lights during working hours. For safety reasons, traffic may be held at a red light for short durations to allow the removal of trees from the verge.

The road will be open outside working hours to keep disruption to a minimum.

Access through the works site for emergency services will be maintained at all times.

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s North West Representative said: “Clearing the diseased and dying trees as part of our Tree Management Strategy offers an opportunity to not only remove potentially hazardous trees near North West trunk roads, but also to improve the biodiversity and the resilience of our road network. Our strategy is based on the safety of road users, as well as an understanding of the surrounding landscape to inform the identification of suitable native species to restock and replace trees that are removed.

“This will be done within the context of the broader planting strategy which seeks to enhance and potentially achieve a net gain in biodiversity and resilience by incorporating native shrub, grass and wildflower species in accordance with Transport Scotland’s Fitting Landscapes: Securing More Sustainable Landscapes policy.

“We have scheduled the works to take place overnight to minimise disruption and thank motorists in advance for their patience as we complete this essential work.”

How to get the latest travel and traffic information

For full information on roadworks on trunk roads in the north-west and south-east of Scotland, visit the Bear Scotland website.

You can report a defect on the network by filling out this form.

Follow Bear Scotland on Twitter at @bear_scotland and at @SETrunkRoads.