§ Mr. Lidington
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what was the average time taken from charge to the start of trials and what was the average number of hearings in an indictable-only case in(a) 2000 and (b) the first quarter of 2001. 
§ Jane Kennedy
Information is not available in the exact form requested and is instead provided for defendants in indictable and triable either way cases that were committed for trial at the Crown court.
In 2000 the average time taken from charge or laying of information to committal for trial was 87 days for defendants in magistrates' courts. The average time taken from committal for trial to first main hearing in the Crown court was 100 days in 2000. There were on average three adjournments per defendant per case in the magistrates' courts. There is no information held centrally on the number of adjournments in the Crown court.
These figures provide only a broad indication of the total time taken from charge or laying of information to first main hearing for defendants who are tried in the Crown court, as the data from magistrates' courts and the Crown court will not relate to exactly the same defendants.
Data for the first quarter of 2001 are not yet available.