Councillors have been warned that funding, which has been used to repair the valleys’ roads damaged by timber lorries, could dry up.
The latest tranche of the Government fund, which contributed almost half of the cost of work on the Potburn road, is set to end and members were told last week that its future was uncertain.
They were faced with the equally bleak news that damage to the area’s minor roads will continue.
A report by council officials stated: “In recent times a number of very minor roads have been subjected to considerable damage through the level of timber extraction they have experienced.
“This is an issue we are clearly very keen to avoid or at least minimise going forward through alternative in-forest routing and the use of Timber Transport Management Plans.
“There is, however, no doubt that the transportation of timber will continue to impact adversely on the council’s infrastructure for the foreseeable future.”
Gordon Edgar, executive member for roads and infrastructure, told The Wee Paper: “At the moment, it’s the roads up the valley that are affected. They’re not even designed for cars: they were made for horse and cart.
The officers’ report added that complaints are ‘frequently’ received from other road users and local communities about the presence and speed of timber lorries, and issues such as convoying and perceived aggressive driving.
Mr Edgar said: “Fortunately, up until now, we’ve not seen any serious incidents. It’s more the uncomfortable position people are put in in lay-bys with big lorries squeezing by.
“I’ve had people coming to me saying: ‘I’ve had a near-thing, is there nothing that can be done?’”
A map of agreed timber routes is in place, and while the majority of hauliers abide by it, according to the report, the voluntary agreements are not enforceable.