Strategy for walking and cycling released

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 20.4.2011 13.36
Press release

The Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications has prepared a national strategy for walking and cycling. The strategy, set to run until 2020, seeks to ensure that walking and cycling will gain their own positions in the transport system recognised in policy alongside other modes of transport.

The strategy aims at increasing the share of walking and cycling in all the trips made. The target is that by 2020, the share of walking and cycling rises from 32 per cent to 35 - 38 per cent in the transport mode split, and the proportion of short trips made by private cars decreases correspondingly.

This means that in 2020, at least 20 per cent more trips are made on foot or by bicycle as compared to the situation in 2005. Looking at the number of trips, it would equal some 300 million more trips made walking or cycling.

Towards a more safe and pleasant physical environment

According to the strategy, walking and cycling will attain a new significance in the transport system of the future. By promoting walking and cycling, carbon dioxide emissions from transport can be reduced and our everyday physical environment made more comfortable, healthy and safe. In planning, they should be considered the most natural modes.

Increasing the popularity of walking and cycling requires an integrated urban structure, in which the places where people live, study, work and use local services are within easy reach of each other. This way, distances remain reasonable, and a car is not always essential to go to work or make other trips.

In principle, both citizens and decision-makers value walking and cycling. This should also be sufficiently concretised in measures, plans and regulations guiding transport choices; in public funding allocated to transport modes; and in people's transport mode choices.

Reaching targets with cooperation

The implementation of the strategy requires that different kinds of organisations and levels of government are committed to the target, and that they engage in close cooperation. Employers, businesses and the media also need to be engaged in the promotion and implementation of walking and cycling. The strategy is in line with the objectives of the new transport policy. It guides planning work of the Finnish Transport Agency and cooperation between central and local government in the development of the transport system.

Further information:
Mr Mikael Nyberg, Director of the Transport System Unit, tel. +358 9 160 28474, +358 40 837 8794,
Ms Katariina Myllärniemi, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 9 160 28759, +358 40 545 0901