Arterial route network
Arterial roads and railways
Nationally important arterial roads and railways are specified in the Ministry of Transport and Communications Decree of 21 November 2018.
Arterial roads and railways connect the largest national and international centres and nodes as well as serve, in particular, long-distance commuter travel and commercial goods transports. Arterial roads and railways extend to all regional centres.
The Decree also specifies the service level of arterial routes. The year-round, high-quality maintenance of arterial routes is prioritised to ensure the smooth flow of both passenger traffic and goods traffic.
The Decree does not specify or steer investments in or the development of Finland's route network. Decisions concerning the investment and development programme will be made in a national 12-year transport system plan.
Arterial roads are defined as those with a traffic volume of over 6,000 passenger cars and over 600 heavy vehicles a day as well as roads whose inclusion in the arterial route network is vital to ensuring accessibility or the networking of arterial routes. Arterial roads typically have highway speed limits of at least 80 km/h and motorway speed limits of 120 km/h.
Arterial railway routes are categorised as passenger and goods routes based on their primary traffic profile. The basic definition for arterial railway routes are those with a projected volume of at least one million trips per year. Likewise, the basic definition for arterial goods transport routes are those with a current or projected traffic volume of at least two (2) million tonnes a year. Railway routes may also be considered arterial routes on other bases, such as network accessibility. On arterial railway routes for passenger traffic, speeds must be at least 120 km/h. On arterial railway routes for goods transports, speeds must be at least 80 km/h. On arterial railway routes for goods transports, the axle load must be at least 22.5 tonnes. There may also be exceptions to these.