HC Deb 28 April 2004 vol 420 c998W
Mrs. Dunwoody

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the responsibilities of uniformed Highways Agency Traffic Officers are. [168254]

Mr. Darling

The responsibilities of the uniformed Highways Agency traffic officer patrols will be to keep traffic flowing and support road users by managing minor incidents, dealing with the traffic consequences of all incidents, organising the removal of broken down and abandoned vehicles, removing debris and obstructions and implementing traffic management measures.

Uniformed traffic officers will also be working in seven regional control centres where they will work in partnership with the police to control incident management, operate variable message signs and answer calls from emergency roadside telephones.

Traffic officers will help improve the quality of traffic information to road users by providing better information on the nature, scale and anticipated duration of incidents.

The police will continue to deal with major incidents, which require significant co-ordination of the emergency services, and those involving death, injury, criminality or threats to public order and public safety.

By transferring these roles and responsibilities to the Highways Agency, it will free-up police time to concentrate more on road safety, crime and law enforcement.