London tops table of middle lane hoggers on motorways

London tops table of middle lane hoggers on motorways

Drivers: "It saves me having to change lanes"


NOTHING gets drivers grumbling quite like other motorists hogging the middle lane. Now research reveals that drivers should avoid London if they don’t want to be left fuming. The capital has the worst offending rates for sitting in the middle lane of a motorway.

By painstakingly analysing more than 70 hours of video footage of traffic flow on some of the UK’s busiest motorways, including the M25, M40, M4, M3 and M12, experts were able to build a picture of the nation’s driving habits.

London topped the table of bad habits, after researchers analysed driving behaviours lane by lane in both directions.


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On average, 65% of London drivers keep to the middle lane when the inside lane is clear. In Northern Ireland, 62% won’t budget, and in third place comes the North East, with 51% hogging the middle lane.

The best region for following the rules of the road is the South East, where only 32% of drivers stick to the middle lane.

Rule 264 of the Highway Code says that drivers should always drive in the left-hand lane when the road ahead is clear

When asked why they kept to the middle lane, 43% or drivers said it saved them from having to pull out to over take lorries, 33% said they didn’t have to change lanes as much and 22% simply felt safer staying put.

The researched, commissioned by Direct Line Car Insurance, also investigated whether drivers from the same regions knew it was a traffic offence to remain in the middle lane when the inside lane was clear. Only 41% of Londoners were aware, compared with 57% in the South East.

Rule 264 of the Highway Code says that drivers should always drive in the left-hand lane when the road ahead is clear. It adds: “If you are overtaking a number of slower-moving vehicles, you should return to the left-hand lane as soon as you are safely past.”

New laws introduced in 2013 mean police officers can hand out on-the-spot fines of £100 and three penalty points for drivers who fail to keep left on the motorway.

Must be something wrong with those other three lanes.

Failing to keep left on a motorway is an offence.

3 points + £100 fine or a road safety educational course

— RPU – Surrey Police (@SurreyRoadCops)

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