Better competitiveness through new masses and dimensions for heavy goods vehicles
Under a government decree issued on 6 June, Finland's logistic competitiveness will be improved by raising the maximum permissible masses and dimensions of heavy goods vehicles and vehicle combinations.
The decree will enter into force on 1 October 2013.
The purpose of this reform is to improve Finland's competitiveness and reduce transport costs to a level closer to that of continental Europe. Due to long distances, transport costs in Finland are higher than in many other countries. According to the Finnish Transport Agency, the reform will be likely to save approximately EUR 1.6 - 3.2 billion in logistics costs over a period of 20 years.
Carbon dioxide emissions from traffic are estimated to reduce by around two per cent annually.
Strategically important transport routes will be evaluated in terms of their priority in collaboration with the Finnish Transport Agency, municipalities, ELY Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, and businesses. Improvement of roads and bridges on the state-owned network is to begin in 2014, while municipalities will be able to plan their road and bridge improvements on a timetable they consider suitable. Parties responsible for road management will decide which routes are to be used by lorries, and indicate these by using traffic signs.
The maximum permitted height of a vehicle will increase from 4.2 metres to 4.4 metres and mass from 60 tonnes to 76 tonnes. During the five-year transition period, current vehicles will be allowed to carry heavier loads than presently. The precondition for this is, however, that the vehicles fulfil the safety requirements applicable to them also when carrying larger masses.
For this budget planning period the Finnish Government has allocated a total of EUR 55 million of additional funding for road repair, to be spent on improving sections that are logistically the most critical.
Mr Tero Jokilehto, Director of the Transport Market Unit, tel. +358 295 342 568, email@example.com