Minister Harakka: Transport system development is a long-term effort
On 12 May 2022, Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka opened the first Transport System Forum. In future, such forums will be held regularly to discuss the state of the transport system.
Preparations for the National Transport System Plan have been under way for about a year.
“The Transport 12 Plan has brought the desired strategic approach and long-term outlook to the work on the transport system. This also applies to funding, even though the realisation of the plan’s funding will always depend on the decisions on spending limits and the budget,” Minister Harakka says.
In his speech, Minister Harakka addressed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its effects on different sectors of society, including the transport sector.
“We don’t yet know how far-reaching the consequences of the war will be. In any case, we must be prepared for at least some of the changes to be permanent. As the operating environment changes, it is essential that we have at our disposal constantly updated foresight information on the needs for mobility and transport, on traffic flows and on the outlook for our environment,” Minister Harakka says.
According to Minister Harakka, the decisions made in the government discussion on spending limits in the spring were not desirable from the perspective of the Transport 12 Plan.
“Although we are aware of the pressure to make savings, it is unfortunate that we have not been able to adhere to the jointly agreed level of transport system funding. On the other hand, we must remember that two years ago, as part of the stimulus package, the development investments in the transport infrastructure network were really substantial,” Harakka says.
“One bright spot for the administrative branch was the increase of more than five million euros made in the government session on spending limits to improve cyber security. It is a very necessary and welcome increase considering the current global situation,” Harakka says.
Close cooperation is an important part of the preparations
Minister Harakka emphasised the importance of cooperation and interaction in the work for the Transport 12 Plan.
“The Plan is an example of what can be achieved by working together towards a common goal. Cooperation is needed even more now as the global political situation is uncertain and affects our everyday lives in so many ways,” Harakka says.
The National Transport System Plan will be updated every four years. The preparation of the next plan will begin by forming a shared situational picture of the transport system. This will be carried out based on the Transport and Communications Agency’s transport system analysis, in cooperation with stakeholders.
Interaction and cooperation with stakeholders will be continuous and regular.The interaction methods to be used in the preparation of the next plan will be developed on the basis of the feedback received. The Transport System Forum will meet regularly to discuss current issues and the state of the transport system.
The Government adopted the first 12-year National Transport System Plan in April 2021. The implementation of the Plan is under way.
Cooperation with stakeholders will continue in regional events to be held in autumn 2022.
The next plan for 2025–2036 will be drafted so that a decision on it could be made in spring 2025. The planning will begin once the next Government has taken office. The Government Programme will affect the limitations and content of the plan.
llkka Hamunen, Special Adviser to the Minister, tel.+358 50 478 1027, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kaisa Kuukasjärvi, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 50 414 0330, email@example.com
Maria Torttila, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 50 572 2237, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Press release, 15 April 2021: National Transport System Plan: Towards accessible, sustainable and efficient transport system