Finland Road Network

By | October 31, 2022

The Vallation 8 at Masku, near Turku.

History

The Finnish road network was developed relatively late. Until the 1960s, many through -valatite were unpaved or gravel roads. In 1938 the Finnish road network was numbered for the first time. Because many roads were still gravel roads for a long time, the main roads are often built over a new route, so that Finnish main roads often have a more optimal alignment compared to other European countries, where they follow historical routes. In 1952 the Helsinki Olympics were held. At that time, the country had almost no through asphalt roads. In 1962, Finland’s first highway, the Vallation 1., openedbetween Helsinki and Espoo. In the 1960s, only a few short highway routes were built around the major cities. It was not until the 1990s that longer stretches of motorway between the Finnish cities were completed.

Motorways

According to wholevehicles, Finland has a limited network of highways, called moottoritite, with 4 longer radial highways from Helsinki to Turku, Tampere, Heinola and towards the Russian border. In addition, there are a number of shorter highways around the largest cities, such as at Oulu, Vaasa, Imatra and Kuopio. Finland also has the northernmost highway in the world, the Valatie 29 between Kemi and Tornio. The motorway network is being expanded on a limited scale, mainly because the traffic intensities are low. Roads from 15,000 vehicles are often widened to a motorway every 24 hours. The priority is the construction of the Valtation 7 to the border with Russia. There are 3 ring roads around Helsinki, the Kehä I to III, although Kehä II is hardly a ring. These are not (yet) classified as motorcycles.

Nodes

Junctions in Finland
Espoo • Hervanta • Kirokonkylä • Kivokon • Lentoasemantie • Leppävaaran • Matin • Pitkäniemi • Pohjois-Haaga • Sepänkylä • Tampere eteläinen • Tattariharjun • Vaarala • Vantaankoski • Västersundom

Main roads

Finland has a main road network consisting of primary main roads (Valtatie) with the numbers 1 to 39 and the Kantatie as secondary main roads. These connect all major cities in the country, but the main road network is limited, especially in the east and north.

Motorways & Main Roads in Finland
Moottoritite (motorways): Valtation 1 • Valtation 3 • Valtation 4 • Valtation 5 • Valtation 6 • Valtation 7 • Valtation 8 • Valtation 9 • Valtation 12 • Valtation 29 • Kantation 45 • Kantation 51 • Seutation 135Helsinki Ring Roads: Kehä I • Kehä II • Kehä III

Valtate (main roads): 1 • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6 • 7 • 8 • 9 • 10 • 11 • 12 • 13 • 14 • 15 • 16 • 17 • 18 • 19 • 20 • 21 • 22 • 23 • 24 • 25 • 26 •27 • 28 • 29

Kantite: 40 • 41 • 43 • 44 • 45 • 46 • 50 • 51 • 52 • 53 • 54 • 55 • 56 • 57 • 58 • 60 • 62 • 63 • 65 • 66 • 67 • 68 • 69 • 71 • 72 • 73 • 74• 75 • 76 • 77 • 78 • 79 • 80 • 81 • 82 • 83 • 86 • 87 • 88 • 89 • 91 • 92 • 93 • 98

The Autonomous Region of Åland has a main road network consisting of four Valtatiet numbered 1 to 4 and one Kantatie number 40. All five main roads connect the main islands near the main town of Mariehamn. Åland has a separate numbering system.

Toll roads

There are currently no toll roads in Finland. Finland is one of the few countries in the EU where there are no toll roads of any kind. However, proposals have been made for a kilometer charge or congestion charge.

Ferry services

Apart from the ferry services to and from Finland, there are no ferry services on the main road network. Ferries do exist on secondary routes. The ferry services run by the government are free. On some ferry services there is no fixed timetable, but the departure depends on the traffic volume. This occurs especially on very quiet secondary roads. Most ferry services also operate at night.

Winter roads

The valation 21 in winter.

In Finland, the winter season lasts several months in the south and almost half a year in Lapland. In principle, the roads are kept passable all year round, with the main roads being cleared of snow and ice with snow plows and road salt. On secondary roads, it must be taken into account that they are covered by a solid layer of snow and ice. Winter tires are mandatory. In winter, lower speed limits also apply on main roads and motorways. These are fixed periods.

In winter, some ice roads are also developed if the winter is severe enough. The longest are up to 10 kilometers long. See also winter road.

Road management

The main roads are in the administration of Väylä, until 2018 known as Liikennevirasto. Liikennevirasto called itself the Finnish Transport Agency in English and Trafikverket in Swedish, similar to Sweden itself. In addition to the roads, Väylä also manages the railways and waterways. Väylä manages 78,000 kilometers of road, in fact all Finnish roads except forest roads and municipal roads. The provinces do not manage roads in Finland. Of the 78,000 kilometers of road managed by Väylä, 50,000 kilometers are asphalted. Väylä also manages 5,944 kilometers of railway, 8,300 kilometers of coastal water routes and 8,000 kilometers of canals and navigable rivers, 32 of which are canals with locks.

Signage

A sign indicating the reindeer herding area (poronhoitoalue).

The signage on roads is with green signs with white capital letters. The main roads have a number without a prefix in a red area. On other roads, blue signs with white capital letters are used. In western Finland the signs are bilingual; Finnish and Swedish. This can sometimes cause messy signage.

Road numbering

There are four classes of road numbers, one, two, three and four digit roads. The single-digit roads are national trunk roads and have a white number in a red area without a prefix. Two-digit roads complement the main road network and have black letters in a yellow area without a prefix. Secondary roads have three numbers with black letters in a white area without a prefix. Minor roads have a four-digit road number with white letters in a blue area without a prefix. A national main road is called a Valatie.

Roads on Åland have a separate numbering system. The valatite have the numbers 1 to 29. Kantatie are the second class with the numbers 40 to 98. A Seututie is a secondary road with the numbers 100 to 971. A Yhdystie is a local road with the numbers 1000 to 9999. A Paikallistie are often semi-paved forest roads with the numbers 11000 to 19999. There are even more road classes, increasing to the number 99999.

History

In 1920, the authority over the roads was transferred from the municipalities to the Finnish national government. In the 1930s it was clear that the increase in road traffic necessitated proper road numbering. Road numbering was introduced for the first time in 1938, which has been modified relatively little since then. In 1938 there were 21 numbered valatite (1 to 21) and 31 cantimate (51 to 82). Numbers 1 to 15 ran radially from the major cities; 1 to 7 from Helsinki, 8 to 10 from Turku, 11/12 from Tampere and 13 to 15 from Vyborg. Karelia (with the town of Vyborg) was occupied by Russia after World War II and has never returned to Finland since. A number of Finnish numbered roads thus entered Russiaespecially the numbers 15, 61-64 and 72/73. A number of other routes were shortened to the new border.

Finland was relatively little industrialized. Before the 1950s, many roads were still unpaved. Between the 1950s and 1970s, the Finnish road network was extensively modernized. Many roads were partly given new routes, but the basic numbering was hardly changed. Only a few completely new routes have been added to the system, such as the Valatie 22 from Oulu to Kajaani and the Valatie 23 from Pori to Joensuu. Since the 1970s, the system has been expanded with numbers up to and including Valatie 29. Numbers Valatie 30 to Valatie 39 are reserved for future routes, but are unlikely to ever be used again.

In the 1960s a new layer of regional and local roads was added, with three, four and five digit road numbers. The numbers above 1000 are only limited, and above 10000 are never indicated. In 1965 E numbers were introduced in Finland. These were the E4, E78, E79 and E80 at the time. In the 80’s the E-system was changed which led to a change of the E-numbers in Finland in 1992. In the 70’s a test was done with M-numbers, only the M4 and M7 were ever introduced. However, this experiment was not successful and the roads have been renumbered to their old routes 140 and 170.

In the 1990s, a series of setuations was upgraded to canting, with a number of new two-digit numbers being put into use. These were partly lower numbers such as 43 and 44 and partly numbers that came into Russia after 1945, such as 63 and 65.

Maximum speed

The speed limit in Finland is 50 km/h in built-up areas, 80 km/h outside built-up areas and 120 km/h on motorways. There are different speed limits, 100 km/h is allowed on major main roads. Also, lower limits sometimes apply on motorways.

In winter, the speed limit on motorways is reduced to 100 km/h and on main roads to 80 km/h. The winter limits were introduced in 1987. Since 2004, a maximum speed of 70 km/h has been introduced on some busy roads in places where there is a lot of built-up areas, but no real built-up areas. The maximum speed at traffic lights is never higher than 70 km/h.

Trucks are never allowed to go faster than 80 km/h. Buses and vans are not allowed to go faster than 100 km/h in Finland. There are still speed limits of 90 km/h on Åland.

History

Finland had no general nationwide speed limits until 1962, when a test was conducted with a maximum speed of 90 km/h in the regions of Helsinki, Turku and Pori. Cities did have their own speed limits. From 1973, tests were carried out with speed limits on the valetite and cantite(excluding motorways). The maximum speeds at the time were 60 to 120 km/h. Finland is one of the few countries in Europe that was once allowed to drive at 120 km/h on single-lane roads. In the experiment, gravel roads were given a maximum speed of 80 km/h and asphalt roads 100 or 120 km/h. Trucks and vehicles with trailers were also limited to 80 km/h. In 1978 the maximum speeds were finalized, with the maximum speed of 120 km/h only being applied on motorways. In recent years, the number of main roads where 100 km/h is allowed in the summer has been reduced.

Taxes

There are three types of tax on driving and car ownership in Finland.

Car tax

The Finnish car tax is comparable to the MRB (road tax) in the Netherlands. Since 2011, the tax is dependent on CO2 emissions. The road tax is significantly lower than in the Netherlands, usually between €85 and €260 per year, depending on emissions. Different rules apply to diesel cars, whereby the tax is generally somewhat higher than for petrol cars, usually € 200 – 250 per year, depending on the weight.

Purchase tax

In Finland a tax has to be paid when buying a new car. This is comparable to the BPM in the Netherlands. The amount depends on fuel type, weight and CO2 emissions and is between 5 and 50% of the purchase price. Criticism of the system comes from the car industry, because of the high tax on the purchase of new cars, the Finnish fleet is relatively old. In 2012, 13% of vehicles in Finland did not yet have a catalytic converter. The average age of a passenger car in Finland is about 30% higher than the EU average.

Fuel tax

In Finland, a fuel excise tax must also be paid. This consists of an energy tax, CO2 tax and strategic stock levy. This together is called the fuel tax. In addition, VAT must be paid on the market price of the fuel and the fuel excise duty. The fuel excise duty in 2014 was € 0.673 per liter of petrol and € 0.496 per liter of diesel.

In Finland no LPG is sold as fuel for vehicles, not even for tourists.

Road safety

Year Road fatalities
2010 272
2011 292
2012 255
2013 258
2014 229
2015 270
2016 250
2017 223
2018 237
2019 209

In 2010, there were 51 road deaths per 1 million inhabitants in Finland, a decrease of 36 percent compared to 2001. This makes the country one of the safer countries in the European Union, although it is relatively far behind compared to other Scandinavian countries. In 2015, there were 48 road deaths per 1 million inhabitants in Finland, close to the EU average.

Finland Road Network