Finland: Draft for the National Transport System Plan approved

NordenBladet — A parliamentary steering group has approved a draft for the 12-year national transport system plan to be sent out for consultation. It has been published in the Gateway to Information on Government Projects.

The next step is to assess the impacts of the draft plan. The plan and the results of its impact assessment will be sent out for consultation in January 2021.The national transport system plan has been prepared at parliamentary level and in close interaction with stakeholders since June 2019.

The national transport system plan aims to add a longer-term perspective to the development of the transport system across Finland. The plan is approved for 12 years at a time.

Minister Harakka: Long-term perspective to the transport system development across Finland
“Our aim has been to improve efficiency, accessibility and sustainability throughout the country. Both businesses and citizens can better anticipate the provision of transport services. With better planning we can make full use of the EU funding,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.

“The draft plan that was now published pays even more attention than before on the condition of our transport network, which will result in a reduction of the repair debt. Development needs are being identified throughout the country and I will respond to them when the plan is being implemented, says Minister Harakka.

The draft plan includes substantial measures to develop travel chains and public transport services, among other things. In addition, the transport system will be improved by investing heavily in the utilisation of information and digitalisation. The draft plan also contains guidelines on how transport issues will be dealt with in future agreements between the state and urban regions, for example.

Economic framework outlined – EUR 500 million annually for the development of the transport infrastructure network
The previous draft version of the transport system plan was published in September 2020. After that, the parliamentary steering group has outlined the economic framework from 2025 onwards.

Until 2024, the annual funding levels would be in line with the General Government Fiscal Plan.

According to the draft plan, the funding for basic transport infrastructure maintenance would be increased to EUR 1.4 billion a year starting from 2025.The funding for the development investments would be around EUR 500 million a year. According to the draft plan, the central government would allocate approximately EUR 6.1 billion to the development of the transport infrastructure network during the first 12-year planning period from 2021 to 2032, of which some EUR 3.35 billion would be available for new development projects. The development funding would be divided so that 44% be allocated for roads, 52% for the rail network and 4% for waterways.

In the preparation of the draft plan, the needs for the development of the transport network, including the state network, have been compiled in a strategic situational picture of the transport network. The national transport system plan defines how the transport network will be developed and the funding allocated.Parliament will ultimately decide on the state funding in connection with the annual budgets.

Next steps
The impacts of the draft plan will be assessed in November-December 2020.The draft plan and the results of its impact assessment will be sent out for consultation in January 2021. The comments will be taken into account when the plan is finalised.The Government will submit the first national transport system plan as a report to Parliament in spring 2021.

Based on the national transport system plan and the strategic situational picture of the transport network, the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency will draw up an investment programme for the state transport infrastructure networks for the next 6-8 years. The investment programme to be drawn up for the first time in 2021 is a knowledge-based view of how the development projects of the transport infrastructure network will be implemented. It will be used in the preparation of budget proposals.


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