Phase II of the regional government reform sent for comments – impacts on transport

Uutinen 26.04.2017 16.16 fi sv en

Traffic (Photo: Antero Aaltonen)

The phase II legislative package of the regional government reform has been sent for comments. The regional government reform will have impact even on the transport sector, including transport funding and the transport agencies’ activities. Responsibility for developing the transport system would remain with the state.

According to the draft bill, counties would be responsible for the transport duties assigned to them by law, and they would also allocate funding within their authority. Transport duties assigned to the counties would include ensuring traffic safety and functioning of the transport system as well as regional road maintenance. The state would still own the road network, which is why the counties’ duties concerning regional road management would be based on agreements between the state and individual counties or a single operator agreed on by the counties.

The Government proposes that the organisation of public passenger transport and archipelago traffic be assigned to the counties only if the counties are willing to take on the duties. Archipelago traffic would receive separate funding, while public passenger transport would be covered from the counties’ universal funding.

Developing the transport system and national transport duties would remain a state responsibility. National transport duties would include road management licensing and transport trade licensing.

The state would also be responsible for the planning and organisation of rail transport as well as for the duties of certain municipal and regional authorities, referred to in the Act on Transport Services, that have duties related to discretionary government transfers (e.g. support for public transport in large and medium-sized cities). The state’s transport duties would be carried out by the Finnish Transport Safety and the Finnish Transport Safety Agency.

The regional government reform is part of the Government Reform Packages that aim to create a modern and cost-effective public administration in Finland.

The Ministry of Finance sent the phase II legislative package of the regional government reform for comments on 24 April 2017. The deadline for comments is 19 June 2017. The draft proposal is linked to the Government proposal on the health, social services and regional government reform, submitted to Parliament on 2 March 2017 (HE 15/2017 vp).