New guidelines for transport policy
Finland's Government has laid down transport policy guidelines for several parliamentary terms. The guidelines issued as a Government transport policy report to Parliament also state a transport infrastructure investment programme for this parliamentary term. This first report was issued to Parliament on 27 March; in future transport policy guidelines will be laid down in the beginning of every parliamentary term.
The key priority in transport policy is to provide people and businesses with efficient transport connections and to support regions and branches of industry. Further priorities are combating climate change, promoting public transport services, and improving traffic safety.
The report includes an extensive, multiannual transport network maintenance and investment programme, which will bring a long-term perspective to transport policy. The biggest transport infrastructure projects in the next few years will include repair works of the motorway E18 between Helsinki and the Finnish-Russian border, metro link between Helsinki and Espoo, and a railway connection to the Helsinki-Vantaa airport.
The extension of the metro line, the new rail link from the city centre of Helsinki to the Helsinki-Vantaa airport and other investments in rail transport will enable a considerable growth in public transport services.
A total of 225 million euros will be allocated to improve the operating environment for the forest industry. In order to secure the supply of timber to the industry, repairs will be carried out on lower-class road network and private roads. Timber transport routes important for the forest industry will also be repaired. The aim is to ensure additional 15 million cubic metres of timber for the forest industry.
The viewpoints of climate policy will be taken more and more into account in future transport policy. These new transport policy guidelines enable the introduction of positioning-based road user charges in the next decade. The Government is also prepared to make legislative amendments necessary for the introduction of a regional congestion charge.
Traffic safety will be improved by taking efficient measures against drunken driving, violation of rules, negligence in using safety equipment, and speeding. Traffic safety will also feature in transport infrastructure investments; safety on the main roads will be increased by such means as median barriers.
Mr Kari Jääskeläinen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Transport, tel. +358 440 581 030
Mr Harri Pursiainen, Permanent Secretary, tel. +358 9 160 28389, +358 500 787 742
Mr Juhani Tervala, Director-General, Transport Policy Department, tel. +358 9 160 28482, +358 50 552 7260