Preparation for Finland’s first National Transport System Plan continues
The preparation for Finland’s first National Transport System Plan continues. The Ministry of Transport and Communications says it presented the draft objectives for the Plan at a seminar on 10 January 2020.
“The planning process is at an important stage. The end result depends very much on the guidelines for the objectives, and the action plan for the National Transport System Plan will be based on the set objectives,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka. He chairs the parliamentary group steering the preparation of the Transport System Plan.
During the planning process, the Finnish transport system will be examined from transport networks to services, and a shared vision will be established on how the system is to be developed and financed over the next 12 years. With the National Transport System Plan, a long-term perspective can be adopted to transport policy.
“So far the needs regarding the transport system have been reviewed by government terms. This is the first time we will create a National Transport System Plan for a period of 12 years. That is a way to promote well-being throughout Finland in a long-term and predictable manner,” Minister Harakka says.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications will collect views from different actors on the draft objectives for the Plan. The feedback will be submitted to the parliamentary steering group, which will set the objectives in February.
As the basis for discussion, the steering group has drafted the following objectives for the National Transport System Plan:
1. The functioning of the labour market areas will be further developed by improving accessibility between urban areas.
2. The international accessibility of Finnish regions will improve.
3. The efficiency and reliability of transport will be improved.
4. The accessibility of workplaces and services by means of sustainable transport modes will improve and the growth of the passenger vehicle kilometrage will level off in urban regions.
5. The level of road safety will improve and approach the safety level of other modes of transport and the EU’s zero scenario.
6. The socio-economic efficiency of the transport system will improve.
7. The share of sustainable modes of transport will increase and greenhouse gas emissions from transport are moving towards the national transport emission reduction target.
8. The transport system enables the full utilisation of essential information and new technologies.
During the current year, the action plan for the National Transport System Plan will be prepared interactively with various actors. On 10 March, regional events will take place in Helsinki, Lappeenranta, Rovaniemi and Vaasa. At the events, the Ministry of Transport and Communications will request views for the preparation of the action plan. Participants invited to the events by the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment will include representatives of companies, organisations and municipalities
In autumn 2020, the draft Plan will be finalised and its effects will be assessed. The Plan will be submitted as a report to Parliament in early 2021, after which the Government will decide on the matter.
In addition, the Ministry of Transport and Communications is currently requesting comments on how the impacts of the transport system plan should be assessed. The deadline for comments is 24 January 2020.
The transport system comprises the transport network and services; support functions for the transport system, such as data and traffic control; and all transport modes: road, railway, water and air transport.
The National Transport System Plan, on the other hand, includes an action plan on how the transport network will be planned, constructed and maintained, and what kind of transport and mobility services will be purchased. The Plan will include a twelve-year government funding programme.
The first National Transport System Plan will be drafted for 2021–2032, and it should be ready by spring 2021.