Finland requires a functional transport system that covers the entire country. The transport system is formed by a coordinated entity comprising passenger and freight traffic, infrastructure, traffic control, services and information. Functional routes and transport can be achieved through the collaboration of various transport modes. Therefore, the transport system should be examined from the perspectives of all transport modes in a coordinated manner that takes account of the overall picture.
In accordance with the policy drawn by the parliamentary work group that directed the preparation of the national 12-year transport system plan, it is not possible to arrange a consistent service level equally across the country. However, we must ensure that each region is reasonably accessible with at least one mode of transport. Along with urbanisation, Finland’s regional structure will change, and smooth connections between urban areas must be secured. In addition, we must enable the construction of residential infrastructure that is more connected to public transport than before.
The transport system is planned collaboratively by the state and regional operators. The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency’s role in the transport system planning is to collaborate with regional councils, municipalities and city regions, and its crucial task is to ensure effective dialogue between the regions and the state. Direct interaction and collaboration with customers and interest groups is of particular importance as well. The task of regional Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres) is to apply the national policies in the regional transport system work.
Long-term orientation in the development of the transport system
This is the first time the preparation of a national 12-year transport system plan is about to commence in Finland. The expectations for the plan are high, as its objective is to secure the competitiveness of Finland’s transport system and the viability and accessibility of regions in the long run. The plan strives for long-term orientation, predictability and sufficient funding for the development of the entire country’s transport system across government terms.
The transport system plan will provide the capacity to manage the transport infrastructure costeffectively and to plan appropriately proportioned, timed and allocated investments and construction projects. The long-term orientation will stabilise the operational environment for the customers using the transport infrastructure and the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency’s service providers alike.