Finland: Supplements to budget proposal for 2021: additional appropriations for walking and cycling, private roads and flight connections

NordenBladet — On 19 November 2020, the Government submitted to Parliament a proposal supplementing the budget proposal for 2021.The Government proposes that the appropriation for promoting walking and cycling be increased by EUR 25 million. So in 2021, the allocation to the investment programme for walking and cycling, i.e. to municipal grants, would amount to EUR 28.5 million.

Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka considers the role of walking and cycling important in terms of both the environment and health.”The Government hopes that the municipalities will continue to have the opportunity to improve the conditions for walking and cycling across Finland. It is an effective way to increase sustainable mobility and people’s wellbeing,” Minister Harakka says.

This year, the state will support the improvement of walking and cycling conditions of the municipal street network with a record-high amount of EUR 31.5 million. The goal is to make the decisions on the grants by the end of 2020.This is the first year that the municipalities are able to apply for government grant for the walking and cycling promotion programmes. Applications should be submitted by the end of November.The aim of the promotion programme is to increase the number of walking and cycling trips by 30 per cent by 2030. All these measures support the achievement of the objective.

Support for maintenance of private roads and for advisory tasks and guidance
The Government proposes an appropriation of EUR 17 million for private road grants. In total, an appropriation of EUR 30 million is proposed for private road grants for 2021. The grant may be allocated for maintenance of private roads, provision of advice and guidance for private road maintenance associations, production of supporting material and services as well as for development, planning and research on private roads.

Flights to regional airports will be ensured also during the COVID-19 pandemicDue to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government proposes that for 2021 an appropriation of EUR 11.5 million be allocated to flight connections to regional airports.The proposal is based on the outcome of the working group on regional air services. The working group led by State Secretary Pilvi Torsti proposed in its final report in September 2020 that the state purchase air transport services to Kokkola, Joensuu, Kajaani, Jyväskylä and Kemi airports until the end of 2021.The Transport and Communications Agency, Traficom, has launched a tendering process for the procurement of these air transport services.


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