Government budget session: Investments in road, rail and water transport projects

Press release 16.09.2020 16.52 fi sv en

Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka (Photo: Ministry of Transport and Communications)

The Government has agreed on the budget proposal for 2021. In its budget session, the Government agreed on three new transport infrastructure projects, for example.

It is proposed that EUR 3.5 billion be allocated to the administrative branch of the Ministry of Transport and Communications for 2021. EUR 2.0 billion is proposed to be allocated to the transport and communications network, EUR 783 million to transport and communication services and EUR 680 million to administration and joint expenditure for the administrative branch.

“In addition to the climate recovery package agreed in June, we have now decided on three further transport infrastructure projects to promote sustainable and smooth transport systems and services,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.

Extension of the Saimaa locks started through transport infrastructure projects

The new projects are distributed equally between different modes of transport: road, rail and waterway transport.

A budget authority of EUR 90 million is proposed for extending the locks of the Saimaa Canal. The goal of the project is to promote the operating environment for water transport in the Saimaa Canal and the Lake Saimaa and to reduce transport costs by allowing longer vessels in the Saimaa Canal and the deep-water channel network up to the ports of Varkaus and Joensuu. In the project, the locks will be extended by 11 metres by renewing and transferring the upper gates of the locks. The Saimaa Canal will also be developed by raising the water level. A budget authority of EUR 5 million was granted for this project in the fourth supplementary budget for 2020.

“The development of the Saimaa Canal is of utmost importance for the whole of Eastern Finland, as it provides the business and industry in the region with cost-effective and environmentally friendly meansn of transport. I hope that this will also have a positive impact on employment in the region in the future. By providing a favourable environment for a new fleet, we are also protecting the nationally important nature of Lake Saimaa,” says Minister Harakka.

The Government proposes a budget authority of EUR 21.2 million and an appropriation of EUR 5.0 million for 2021 for the development of highway 4 between Äänekoski and Viitasaari. The aim of the project is to improve road safety and promote the smooth flow of traffic. The measures in the project include building median barriers, an interchange, new road lighting and deer fences for the current overtaking lanes.

In order to promote the region of Jämsä and the agreement on land use, housing and transport in Jyväskylä, it is proposed that a budget authority of EUR 19 million and an appropriation of EUR 7.0 million for 2021 be granted for the first phase of the improvement of the Tampere–Jyväskylä rail section. The project aims to promote the smooth flow of freight and passenger train traffic, improve the capacity and promote the lifecycle-efficient maintenance of the rail section.

On 26 June 2020, Parliament adopted the Government’s fourth supplementary budget proposal for 2020. The supplementary budget includes funding for a number of new road, rail and waterway projects across Finland in the form of stimulus measures due to the coronavirus epidemic, industrial investments, and measures related to land use, housing and transport agreements. Funding for the new transport infrastructure projects approved in the supplementary budget will be continued in the draft budget for 2021.

Together with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Ministry of Transport and Communications will start negotiations on increasing night train traffic in accordance with the Sustainable Tourism 2030 programme by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The aim is to include it in the supplementary budget for 2021.

The halving of fairway dues will continue until 2023. The Ministry has already prepared a legislative amendment concerning the halving in 2021. It is due to be submitted to Parliament in the autumn.


Timo Harakka, Minister of Transport and Communications, contacts: Matti Sadeniemi, Special Adviser, tel. +358 40 586 7234

llkka Hamunen, Special Adviser to the Minister, tel. + 358 50 478 1027