A motorway can be a daunting place to be driving, especially for the beginner driver or someone who isn't naturally confident behind the wheel.
Full of fast moving heavy goods vehicles, aggressive drivers, over inflated egos and plain old stupidity, it's hardly surprising that a lot of people tend to switch off and just stick to the middle lane, with the misconception that it is the easy route or the safest place to be.
The motorways in the UK originally had no speed limit, designed to allow for cars to travel up to 100mph in safety. The first opened around half a century ago in 1958.
Most have three lanes, with the nearside lane intended for all traffic and the outer lanes designated for overtaking slower moving traffic. As we all know, around 90% of the UK driving population don't know this or choose to ignore it. I'd bet on a 50:50 split of people who intentionally drive in the middle lane against people who genuinely believe it's the right place to be even if the left lane is clear.
So how do we deal with these pests? Contrary to popular belief it is NOT illegal to undertake but it can be considered dangerous and traffic police are likely to frown upon such behaviour. I wouldn't recommend it but I will admit to undertaking in a situation where overtaking middle lane hogs would slow the outside lane down unnecessarily. On these occasions I undertake carefully at a steady speed and keep an eye on the actions of the middle laner.
I am also under the impression that talks are in place to make undertaking illegal in all cases. I guess if you read this site and are unsure then have a quick search on the internet, I certainly couldn't find anything on the internet to prove undertaking was illegal except reading misinformed forum users' posts.
The best piece of advice I can offer to motorway users is to be constantly aware of everything around you. Use your mirrors even more than you do around town, and don't be afraid to accelerate into a gap rather than brake suddenly and potentially cause an accident. Always be aware that other drivers switch off on the motorway so try to avoid making unexpected manoeuvres. You shouldn't ever need to brake on a motorway in normal conditions, providing you look ahead and leave a big enough gap to the car in front.
I am currently attempting to create a car sticker that informs people to use the inside lane in a compact and to the point fashion....
I've just been reading the government's response to the online travel tax petition. The scheme they aim to introduce is basically a "pay as you go" charge in selected areas of the UK. More taxes I hear you say. I was interested to read this point in particular:
"A second option would be to try to build our way out of congestion. We could, of course, add new lanes to our motorways, widen roads in our congested city centres, and build new routes across the countryside. Certainly in some places new capacity will be part of the story. That is why we are widening the M25, M1 and M62. But I think people agree that we cannot simply build more and more roads, particularly when the evidence suggests that traffic quickly grows to fill any new capacity."
Surely then, there is a very reasonable argument for educating the masses about proper lane use? It doesn't surprise me that more motorway lanes doesn't always work - you still get the morons using the outer two lanes rather than the left most lane when it's clear.
I think there should be a healthy amount of money spent for shaming middle laners as they are disproportionately adding to congestion. Put up more "keep left" signs, fine middle laners, shame them into rethinking their idiotic no-brainer ways!
Make them use the inside lane when it's clear!