The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom has issued a total of around EUR 15.4 million as grants to 61 projects across Finland in the investment programme for walking and cycling aimed at municipalities. The projects improve the attractiveness, flow and safety of walking and cycling in the street networks of cities and municipalities, in addition to reducing transport emissions.

The investment programme is one of the measures in the National Programme for the Promotion of Walking and Cycling published by the Ministry of Transport and Communications in 2018. The promotion programme aims to achieve a 30% increase in the number of walking and cycling journeys by 2030 compared to the situation in 2016. The investment programme is also included as a promotion measure of sustainable mobility in the Roadmap to fossil-free transport and the national transport system plan published in 2021.

Attractiveness and safety of walking and cycling promoted by developing infrastructure
The 2022 application round for government grants received a total of 101 applications. A total of EUR 15.4 million was awarded as grants to 61 projects meeting the criteria across Finland. The amount of government grants issued in this application round was higher than anticipated, as decommitted or unused appropriations from earlier application rounds could now be reallocated.

“High-quality conditions attract more pedestrians and cyclists. As the number of users increases, the current network is not necessarily safe enough. New investments increase health and climate benefits. The funding for walking and cycling has indeed increased during the current government term,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.

The grants were now awarded for the fifth time. Since 2018, 202 projects in total have already received grants from the investment programme in municipalities of different sizes.

Grants for building new pedestrian and bicycle routes, bicycle parking and improved signage
Government grants were primarily awarded to projects where the walking and cycling infrastructure to be implemented is of high quality, and where the preconditions for increasing the number of journeys made by walking or cycling were assessed to be the best.

“This government grant has become increasingly well-known, and the 2022 application round once again had new municipalities taking part, which is great. It has been a joy to see how the quality of infrastructure to be developed in the projects has also improved in the municipalities that have taken part previously. There is great potential in increasing walking and cycling more widely, as many journeys, even very short ones, are carried out by car. According to the Finnish National Travel Surveys carried out in 2016 and 2021, around 40% of all journeys made by car are less than five kilometres in length,” says Senior Specialist Antti Rahiala from Traficom.

The supported projects improve the walking and cycling infrastructure e.g. by building pedestrian areas, bicycle paths, cycle streets and pedestrian and bicycle bridges. Furthermore, instruction signs for bicycle traffic and bicycle parking opportunities are developed in both park-and-ride system locations and locations central to daily mobility.

Source: Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom