§ Mr. Chope
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what the level of congestion on(a) interurban roads and (b) urban roads is against which he intends to achieve a reduction; and by how much he expects this to change when the measures in the Traffic Management Bill are implemented; 
(2) what definition of congestion was used in the regulatory impact assessment for the Traffic Management Bill. 
§ Mr. Jamieson
[holding answer 5 January 2004]For the detailed references to congestion in the RIA, calculations represent estimated time lost in seconds per kilometre travelled for different vehicle types compared with speeds obtained in periods of light traffic flow. In urban areas light flow speeds are usually speeds achieved at night time and would incorporate the effects of traffic signals, pedestrian crossings and other unavoidable constraints on vehicle movement.
In 2000, the average time lost per vehicle kilometres as a result of congestion was 24.8 seconds on roads in large urban areas and 3.2 seconds on strategic inter-urban roads.
The Highways Agency estimates that the introduction of Regional Control Centres and Traffic Officers will lead to a reduction in congestion on motorways of up to 5 per cent. We expect that measures outside of the scope of the Bill, such as additional capacity at key points on the strategic road network, many of which will be implemented alongside, will also lead to reductions in congestion on trunk roads.
The new duties and powers in the Bill provide an incentive and a means for local authorities to reduce congestion on their roads, and for utilities to work with less disruption, especially in urban areas. The level of 434W reduction will depend on the local circumstances and the performance of individual utilities and authorities, including the use that the latter make of the new powers.
§ Mr. Chope
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what powers of arrest will be available to traffic officers appointed under the Traffic Management Bill.