Action plan preparations for the national transport system plan well underway
Preparations for Finland's first 12-year national transport system plan are currently underway. The parliamentary group steering the work is now discussing the first version of the action plan to be included in the plan.
The action plan defines how the objectives of the national transport system plan will be achieved, for example with regard to transport networks and passenger and goods transport services. It also examines the regional characteristics in developing the transport system.
The parliamentary steering group with Members of Parliament representing all parliamentary parties is led by Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.
“The impacts of the transport system plan currently under preparation will extend well into the future. It concerns the whole country and all transport modes. The work is carried out in cooperation with all parliamentary groups and, in order to ensure the far-reaching nature of the plan, everyone’s commitment is needed. It is very important that the parliamentary group also steers the preparation of the action plan,” says Minister Harakka.
The action plan will be drawn up within the financial limits defined by the parliamentary steering group.
The national transport system plan will include a twelve-year action plan and a government funding programme. In addition, the development will be examined in the longer term, in the form of a vision covering the years up to 2050.
The first National Transport System Plan will be drawn up for 2021–2032.
Action plan will be drafted in three phases
The parliamentary steering group has outlined three objectives for the national transport system plan relating to accessibility, sustainability and efficiency. These objectives will be met by the action plan, the first version of which has been discussed by the parliamentary steering group.
In the first version, particular attention has been paid to promoting sustainable mobility and to the maintenance of the transport networks.
Sustainable mobility will be promoted, for example, by increasing public transport subsidies, developing travel chains and mobility services throughout Finland, and promoting walking and cycling. The funding allocated to basic transport infrastructure management will help reduce repair debt and improve roads and railways.
In spring 2020, the parliamentary steering group will provide conclusions and guidelines for future work of the action plan. The next version of the action plan will be prepared in accordance with the steering group’s guidance. The impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the transport system will also be taken into account in the preparations.
The third version of the action plan is due to be completed in October–November 2020.
Strategic guidelines steer the preparations
In addition to the objectives, the parliamentary steering group has decided on strategic guidelines that specify the objectives of the plan and guide the preparation of the action plan. In the strategic guidelines, special attention has been given to the different perspectives of accessibility.
Impact assessments are a fundamental part of the plan preparation. The impacts to be assessed are accessibility; the service level of travel and transport; economic, ecological and social sustainability; and the safety and security of the transport system.
Stakeholders consulted during the preparation process
In preparing the objectives of the plan and the action plan, stakeholders have been consulted and their views have been taken into account.
In early 2020, discussion events were organised in Helsinki, Lappeenranta, Rovaniemi and Vaasa. Since then, the discussions have focused on strategic policies with regional councils and centres for economic development, transport and the environment. Other interaction related to the preparation of the plan has also continued.
The feedback received during the consultation round that ended in early 2020 has been taken into account in the preparation of the plan and in the impact assessment.
What are the next steps?
The next stakeholder event will be held in Helsinki on 16 September 2020. At the event, the next version of the plan to be prepared on the basis of guidance by the parliamentary steering group as well as its impact assessment will be presented.
After the event, stakeholders will have an opportunity to present their views on the measures before the parliamentary steering group decides on the draft plan.
Stakeholders will have the opportunity to comment on the draft plan and its environmental report at the end of 2020 before the plan is finalised.
The first national transport system plan is scheduled to be completed in spring 2021.
It is subject to the approval by the Government.
Ilkka Hamunen, Special Adviser to the Minister, tel. +358 50 478 1027
Sabina Lindström, Director General, tel. +358 40 527 6103
Timo Kievari, Director of Unit, tel. +358 40 059 3706
* Press release modified on 11.6.2020. Date of the stakeholder event changed, new date 14.9.2020.
* Press release modified on 15.6.2020. Date of the stakeholder event changed, new date 16.9.2020.