The Traffic Management Bill aims to give the Highways Agency and local authorities in England and Wales new powers and responsibilities, through the use of new traffic officers, to keep roads clear, minimise the disruption caused by road works and keep traffic moving.
Announcing the legislation, Darling said: 'The Traffic Management Bill will give the Highways Agency and councils powers and a duty to keep roads clear and traffic moving. They will now have to focus more sharply on tackling causes of congestion and disruption.
'New powers for councils to manage when and where street works are carried out will put an end to congestion caused by poorly planned and lengthy works. Neighbouring authorities will be required to work together to keep traffic flowing across the network.
'The Highways Agency will get powers to manage motorway incidents, which will mean motorists caught in traffic due to road accidents or obstructions should benefit from a more targeted and faster clear-up response.
'Traffic officers will be on scene following road incidents to work with police to clear the road as quickly as possible. These new powers, as well as new traffic enforcement provisions for councils, will also free up police time, allowing them to concentrate on their other priorities.'