Supplementary budget includes major climate-friendly recovery package: Public transport support and infrastructure projects across the country
The Government proposes that in the fourth supplementary budget for 2020 significant additional funding be allocated for the administrative branch of the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
“Sanna Marin’s Government is responding to the coronavirus crisis with climate-friendly recovery. We can simultaneously combat the economic impacts of the crisis, reduce the repair debt and promote the shift towards emission-free transport,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.
“We will support the climate-friendly recovery and sustainable transport with over EUR 1.3 billion. The package includes a number of transport infrastructure projects across the country that can be started immediately. In addition, we will accelerate major projects that generate employment with an infrastructure package for the industry,” says Minister Harakka.
Additional support for public transport services
The Government proposes, due to the COVID-19 situation, additional funding of EUR 100 million for purchasing and developing public passenger transport services. The funding will be directed to support the safeguarding of the service level in public transport if the coronavirus situation persists. It will also be aimed at ensuring the continuity of the existing public transport development projects. New development measures will also be promoted.
Minister Harakka considers that supporting the public transport services is of great importance.
“Revenue from public transport fares has fallen dramatically. With the support, we will ensure that public transport services will continue to function, prices will remain reasonable and the frequency of service will be high enough. We need to restore people’s trust in public transport. Without an efficient public transport system, Finland would no longer be functional,” Minister Harakka says.
Significant support for promoting walking and cycling
The Government proposes to allocate a total of EUR 43 million to municipalities for infrastructure projects promoting walking and cycling. A sum of EUR 18 million would be allocated for 2020 and EUR 25 million for 2021.
“This spring, during the coronavirus epidemic, cities around the world have improved their streets to make them more attractive and safer for cyclists. Walking and cycling will help us end the use of fossil fuels. This development must be strengthened, and that is why a record-breaking package is being directed at walking and cycling,” says Minister Harakka.
Recovery package includes dozens of transport infrastructure projects
In addition to public transport subsidies and support for promoting walking and cycling, the Government proposes, as a stimulus measure, funding for a number of transport infrastructure projects. They will provide support for ensuring that business, industry and citizens have confidence in the recovery of the economy.
The Government proposes appropriations for the following projects:
- An additional appropriation of EUR 30 million for basic transport infrastructure management that will be used for road repair work, including paving of roads, as part of the stimulus measures due to the coronavirus situation.
- Main road 12/ highway 65, additional lane for Vaitinaro intersection, Tampere
- Improvement of highway 2986 between Punkalaidun and Vesilahti
- New rail switches at marshalling yards/traffic operating points
- Enhanced maintenance measures in the main rail network
- Rail repairs between Heinävaara and Ilomantsi
- Enhanced maintenance work on the rail section between Loviisa and Lahti
- Main road 15, Kotka entrance road, Paimenportti interchange-
- Improvement of main road 8 between Turku and Pori in Eurajoki
- Main road 4, improvement of Oulu-Kemi intersections in Simo
- E18, main road 50, improvement of Ring Road III, 3. stage, Askisto and additional lanes in Vantaankoski Pakkala
- Improvement of main road 4 between Hartola and Oravakivensalmi
- Improvement of main road 68, construction of new overpass V-1879, Pedersöre
- Improvement of Kuopio marshalling yard, 1. stage, and renewal of the interlocking device
- Raising the water level in the Saimaa Canal
- Main road 25, underpass of the Leppi intersection in the highway 111 intersection, Karjaa
- Main road 68, Edsevö, improvement of the interchange
- Highway 23, projects that have not yet been implemented
- Starting the basic repair of the rail section between Helsinki and Tampere
- Planning of overtaking lanes, main road 8 –Vaasa-Kokkola
- GigaVaasa – transport connections for the battery industry area
- Kaarina diversion road on Paraistenväylä – planning
An additional appropriation of EUR 3.4 million is proposed to the Transport Infrastructure Agency for the Eurocontrol membership fee. This supports Air Navigation Services Finland (ANS Finland) in the economic situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Government will submit a proposal relating to the fourth supplementary budget to amend the air traffic control fee so that the payment period for the July and October 2020 payment periods be extended by about six months. The proposal is part of the measures presented by the Government to be taken in the transport sector as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic. The proposal will decrease the estimated income from air traffic control fees for 2020 by approximately EUR 5.7 million.
Funding for industrial investments
The infrastructure package for industry includes large investments that generate employment.
The Government proposes appropriations for the following projects:
- Rail connections at the Kemi bioproduct mill, Kemi
- Improvement of the rail section between Kontiomäki and Pesiökylä
- Improvement of the capacity of the rail section between Oulu and Kontiomäki
- Main road 19 between Seinäjoki and Lapua, 1. stage
- Digirail pilot - In the project, European Train Control System will be constructed for the rail section between Kouvola and Kotka/Hamina and an ETCS laboratory in a location that will be decided later.
The Government made entries to the meeting minutes that the projects of deepening the fairway to the port of Ajos in Kemi and improving the capacity of the Oulu-Kemi rail section, and meeting tracks, will be started in 2021.
Support for journalism and news agency activities
The Government proposes to allocate EUR 5 million for the support of journalism in 2020. This will provide support to media facing financial difficulties due to the coronavirus situation. Support could be applied for projects that aim to strengthen high-quality local and regional journalism, investigative journalism, production of more in-depth reports and delivery of journalistic content to digital platforms.
An additional appropriation of EUR 2.5 million will be allocated to support the national news agency activities, the Finnish News Agency STT. The support will ensure the continuation of the current national news service, which is particularly important for regional actors.
An appropriation of EUR 2.75 million is proposed for the Transport Infrastructure Agency for use in meeting the asset depreciation and capital costs of traffic management and control as Traffic Management Finland takes charge of the assets in question. The appropriation is meant for the investment projects related to traffic management and control, which were in progress at the time the traffic management company was started and have since been completed, to be transferred to the traffic management company wholly owned by the state.
An additional appropriation of EUR 10.9 million is proposed to the Transport Infrastructure Agency for the purchase of rail infrastructure management material. The material reserve of rail infrastructure management has been transferred to foreign ownership. Due to the adequate self-sufficiency and preparedness in rail infrastructure management, it is appropriate that the Transport Infrastructure Agency purchase the reserve of critical materials to keep it in its own control.
An additional appropriation of EUR 225,000 is proposed for the operating expenses of the Finnish Meteorological Institute. It is intended to be used to transfer the aviation weather observation systems at Mikkeli and Seinäjoki airports to the ownership of the Meteorological Institute and to renew the systems.
Requests to interview Minister Harakka: Matti Sadeniemi, Special Adviser, tel: +358 40 586 7234
llkka Hamunen, Special Adviser to the Minister, tel. +358 50 478 1,027
Sanna Ruuskanen, Director of Unit, tel. +358 50 376 2377
Timo Kievari, Director of Unit (transport infrastructure projects), tel. +358 40 059 3706