When projects are not prioritized, there are difficulties in targeting planning and EU funding is not applied for and received.
In Finland for years, there has been no long-term program of transport investments in which road and rail projects have been prioritized. Contrary to expectations, the 12-year transport system plan submitted to Parliament lacks feasible investment projects.
There are tens of billions of different projects underway – new tracks alone worth more than ten billion euros. When projects are not prioritized, there are difficulties in targeting planning and EU funding is not applied for and received. MEP Henna Virkkunen (Coalition Party) has asked whether the closed application round could not have applied for support even for additional tracks between Helsinki and Tampere.
There are good intentions in the transport system plan. However, the appropriations point downwards. Right at the beginning of the next term, funding jumps up. When cutting government indebtedness seems to be left to the next government, promises are in vain.
The biggest challenge for transport policy is to limit CO2 emissions. Until now, billion-track projects have been justified by their “sustainability”. The plan adds to this by announcing that the components of the plan will have a small impact on greenhouse gas emissions from transport. The Fairway Agency has already assessed this in the past.
Road and rail money must now be targeted on their transport benefits and more effective ways must be found to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
former Chief of Staff, Espoo
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