asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he has now reached a decision on the matters raised in his Department's consultation paper entitled "Traffic Areas: Number and Boundaries"; and if he will make a statement.
I propose to lay before both Houses shortly an order reducing the number of traffic areas from 11 to nine and changing their boundaries. The proposed new boundaries, which are indicated on a map I have placed in the Library today, are broadly similar to those set out in the consultation paper but have been modified following consultation in order to minimise the disruption to both operators and staff. In particular, I am proposing that we should retain separate metropolitan and south-eastern traffic areas rather than merge them as was originally suggested. Subject to parliamentary approval, these changes will take effect on 1 April 1983.