'Congestion easing' on the region's roads

Traffic congestion is easing in the UK, with a 38% decline recorded in Tyne and Wear in 2012, according to a survey.

UK drivers spent an average of 29 hours stuck in jams last year, with only Belgian, Dutch, German and French motorists faring worse, the Inrix survey showed.

However, with economic times still tough, UK congestion in 2012 was 19% down on the figure for 2011 and also well down in Europe.

Congestion in Tyne and Wear fell 38% last year to an average of 24 hours spent stuck in jams.

The survey also showed that congestion had eased in the first part of 2013, with hours wasted in traffic in the UK falling 11% in January-March this year compared with the same period last year.

"There has always been strong correlation between the state of the economy and the level of traffic congestion on our roads.

"It tells us if people are employed and driving to work, going out to eat or doing some shopping, as well as whether or not businesses are shipping products."

– Bryan Mistele, Inrix chief executive