These policy statements are included in the Helsinki Region Transport System Plan (HLJ 2015) approved by the HSL Executive Board on 3 March. The starting point for the plan has been that in 2050, the region will be home to 2 million people and over one million jobs.
The aim is to direct the increasing travel demand due to population growth to public transport, walking and cycling. Concentrating new developments along good public transport links and at transport nodes and favoring infill development help to achieve a more compact urban structure. This promotes sustainable mobility and reduces travel demand as well as increase in road traffic thus improving the flow of industrial and commercial traffic.
Vehicular traffic pricing is an effective tool for diverting journeys to public transport, walking and cycling. Pricing slightly increases the cost of driving but if pricing is not introduced, the road network becomes congested which affects all road users and impedes the flow of freight traffic.
“A more detailed study on vehicular traffic pricing and ways to implement it in the region will be launched before summer. The possible income generated should be invested in developing the region's transport system,” emphasizes HSL Executive Director Suvi Rihtniemi. Decision on the possible introduction of vehicular traffic pricing will be made as part of the transport system financing.
The transport system decision also lists infrastructure development projects to be launched by 2025 in order of priority. The list includes projects important to the competitiveness of the region. Pisara rail link is number six on the list.
“The decision by the Council of State last week not to include initial funding for the Pisara rail link in the supplementary budget for the present year does not affect the HLJ listing. Our position is that the Letter of Intent on Land Use, Housing and Transport signed between the municipalities and the state is still valid. It was revised last autumn. It is important that in the future the state shows strong commitment to adhere to the agreement and promote it purposefully. This is essential for ensuring the competitiveness of the metropolitan area,” says Rihtniemi.
The preparation of HLJ 2015 was closely linked to the preparation of the Helsinki Region Land Use Plan and the Housing Strategy included in it. The plans consider construction and transport in an area formed by 14 municipalities. Helsinki region is developed as one metropolitan area with a compact, eco-efficient urban structure.
The HSL Executive Board circulates the transport system decision via the KUUMA Board to the KUUMA municipalities for decision. The land use plan and housing strategy are circulated to the municipalities by the Helsinki Region Cooperation Assembly (HSKY). MAL Letter of Intent measures and resources to implement them for 2016 – 2019 will be negotiated on the basis of the approved plans.
Order of priority for infrastructural development projects to be launched by 2025:
1a. Small cost-effective measures (KUHA) *
1b. Downtown Helsinki tram network
2. Improvement of Keravantie (Road 148)
3. Western additional track in Pasila
4. Pasila-Riihimäki rail section, 1st phase *
5. Metro Matinkylä–Kivenlahti + related streets and roads *
6. Pisara rail loop *
7. Klaukkala bypass Road 132 *
8. Hyrylä eastern bypass, 1st phase *
9. Improving the operation of the Helsinki rail yard, HELRA
10. Development of the main road network monitoring and control system
11. Mid-sized road packages (competitiveness of public transport on the road network, controlling vehicular traffic congestion)
12. Need for logistics link in Central Uusimaa, 1st phase
13. Espoo city rail link Leppävaara-Espoon keskus)
14. Jokeri Light Rail Link
15. Ruskeasanta station
16. Ring Road I, 2nd phase
Delays in one project must not hinder the launching of the project next in line.
* Projects set out in the Letter of Intent signed between the state and Helsinki region municipalities to promote large infrastructure projects and housing