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Motorway pic - TC

South East crowned the UK’s middle lane hogging hotspot in new analysis from Direct Line.

The study, commissioned by the insurance provider, analysed data from nearly 6,500 sites on the Highways Agency motorway network and compared the amount of time on each motorway that occupancy in the middle lane exceeded the inside lane.

The highest incidence of lane hogging was found on the M4 near Slough and the M25 appears five times in the lane hogging top 10, which consists entirely of motorways in London or the South East. The high levels of congestion around this area could be a symptom of why the South East has taken the top spot.

Separate research shows that:

  • 78% of drivers know that you should always drive in the left-hand lane when the road ahead is clear, and more than half (52%) know that middle lane hogging is illegal.
  • Yet despite this, 59% still admit to middle lane hogging, with 9% admitting to always or regularly doing so, putting themselves and other road users at risk.
  • The most common reason for why motorists drove in the middle lane was because it is an easier way to drive on motorways because it saves changing lanes (43%).
  • More than a third (38%) claim to dominate the middle lane only when the road is quiet, and 32% do it without realising.
  • Drivers aged 65+ are the most aware that middle lane hogging is illegal (59% compared to 41% of those aged 18 to 24) however, they are also the worst offenders, with 66% admitting to lane hogging compared to the national average of 59%.

Rob Miles, director of Motor at Direct Line, commented: “Lane hogging causes congestion, reduces the capacity of the roads, and most crucially, can be dangerous. It is also illegal, which means drivers could face a £100 on-the-spot fine and three points on their license if caught.

“Motorists are risking their own safety and the safety of other road users through their actions so we’d urge them to be aware of the other lanes and drivers around them when on the road. If the inside lane has space, you should move into it.”

The lane hogging top 10 (average amount of time where occupancy in lane 2 and 3 is greater than in lane 1):

  1. M4 J5-J6 Westbound (Lane 2) Slough, SE 27%
  2. M1 J4-J5 Southbound (Lane 2) Watford, SE 26%
  3. M4 J7-J8/9 Eastbound (Lane 2) Slough, SE 24%
  4. M25 J4-J5 Clockwise (Lane 2) Sevenoaks, Kent SE 22%
  5. M25 J12-J13 Anti-Clockwise (Lane 3) Cheshunt, SE 21%
  6. M4 J2-J3 Westbound (Lane 2) Brentford, London 19%
  7. M25 J18-J19 Anti-Clockwise (Lane 3) Watford, SE 19%
  8. M25 J16-J17 Clockwise (Lane 3) Gerrards Cross, Bucks, SE 17%
  9. M4 J5-J6 Eastbound (Lane 2) Heathrow, London 16%
  10. M25 J16-J17 Anti-Clockwise (Lane 3) Gerrards Cross, Bucks, SE 12%