Rail transport The associations applied for a permit for the Raide-Joker tunnel

The associations consider the damage to the habitat of the flying squirrel to be too significant.

Dispute The light rail line from the Raide-Joker tunnel and the flying squirrel habitat continues in Pitäjänmäki, Helsinki.

On Friday, the Pajamäki Society and Pro Nature submitted an application for a permit for the Pitäjänmäki tunnel to the Supreme Administrative Court.

The tunnel is below the hill, but trees are to be felled on both sides of the hill. The associations consider that this would destroy not only the breeding and resting places of the flying squirrel, but also its feeding, protection and access trees.

The associations believe that the construction would undermine the protection of the flying squirrel, both directly and indirectly, and at both a locally and nationally significant level. In addition, they consider that there would be an alternative to the alignment of the tunnel: pulling the track so that it would run on the west side of the tunnel instead of the forest on Arinatie.

Uusimaa the ely center has granted the city of Helsinki an exemption to build a flying squirrel habitat. Under the terms of the permit, the city was required, for example, for flying squirrels to have bowls elsewhere in the Patterimäki forest.

The associations appealed against this exemption to the Helsinki Administrative Court, which ruled in December that there are conditions for an exemption and trees can be felled at the mouth of the tunnel.

The rock tunnel has been excavated in the past and the city was scheduled to start felling trees from the disputed area this year.

Raide-Jokeri runs from Helsinki Itäkeskus to Keilaniemi, Espoo. It is estimated to reduce CO2 emissions from transport by 4,000 tonnes per year in 2030, as it will be able to carry significantly more passengers than the current bus line.

Traffic is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2024.

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