New infrastructure at the Vaalimaa border crossing point completed
A new waiting area for heavy-duty transport, i.e. a lorry parking area, and the associated routes were opened to traffic on January 4, 2017 at the Vaalimaa border crossing point (Torfjanovka on the Russian side of the border). In June 2017, the pre-booking service for heavy-duty transport crossing the border was reopened.
The Vaalimaa border crossing point is the busiest crossing point for passenger transport along the eastern border of Finland. The new lorry park has 450 parking spaces when entering Russia and 51 when entering Finland. The park accommodates toilet and shower facilities for the lorry drivers. The use of the lorry park is free of charge.
The lorry park and new traffic scheme ensure that no more lorry queues will appear on the road outside the border crossing point. Even though there is less border crossing traffic now than during the peak years, lorry traffic is expected to increase. The new traffic scheme also improves traffic safety considerably since passenger transport and heavy-duty transport are largely kept apart in the vicinity of the border crossing point.
In May 2014, a new area for departing passenger transport was completed, especially catering to passengers leaving the country. New traffic lanes have been built for passenger transport, and there are now a total of 36 traffic lanes for arriving and departing traffic. Near the freight transport centre, there are new inspection facilities for heavy-duty transport. The previous facilities, which were used for all cars, are now primarily used for passenger transport.
The renewed website evpa.fi was opened in June 2017
Last June, the renewed website, evpa.fi, which serves as the pre-booking system for border-crossing freight transport, was relaunched. The operational principle of the service is that all drivers of lorries intending to cross the border will book a time slot for the border crossing in advance or register for the virtual live-queue. By making this reservation, the driver will be informed of the hourly time slot on a certain day for the border crossing.
The service aims at spreading traffic volumes over a longer time period during the day, in order to avoid long queues at the border crossing point, even at peak hours. The system enables smoother traffic flow and improves traffic safety. The service does not affect the volume of traffic crossing the border.
Bookings can be made over the internet, by phone or at the self-service terminal located in the Vaalimaa freight transport waiting area. Self-service terminals can also be found at Teboil Rajahovi and in the Port of Kotka. The service is free of charge and mandatory for all.
The pre-booking service for border-crossing traffic is a trial, launched in December 2014. The system provider is GoSwift Suomi. A corresponding pre-booking system is also used at the Russian borders in Estonia and Lithuania.